My earliest memory is of reading under the window, in my bedroom, by the moonlight. My parents would say lights out. I would comply, and minutes later I would be lost in the pages of some fiction novel, straining to get every last sliver of moonlight. Needless to say, I dreaded cloudy nights. I would become so absorbed in my books that I would lose track of time. I would become one with the characters and the real world would melt away for a brief time.
When my children were born, we read to them every night, from the day they were born until they were both around 9 years old. It was important to us that they learn to love reading as well. Every night they would read to themselves until we would say lights out.
As I walk around the school yard and see our youth on cellphones, I wonder how often they pick up a book and become immersed in stories as I did, and then I spot 2 students sitting quietly under the pines, reading their novels, oblivious to the world around them.
This gives me hope.