First, I should clarify: That title does not mean I have an adverse reaction to non-bookish people. I have love for ALL of you. Really. If you’re hear reading, I have love and appreciation for you. (Unless you’re here to spam me, in which case…not so much.)
I’ve spent the last 10 years of my non-student life surrounding myself with book people. First it was as an educator, and while not all my students were readers, I took a great amount of pride and satisfaction in handing out (or reading aloud) books to them anyway. Some remained uninterested. That was okay. Maybe I planted a seed (or maybe not). Some, though, discovered an author or series or genre that was new to them, and it turned their reading life around. As a reading teacher, these are the BEST MOMENTS EVER.
And then I left teaching to pursue a library degree and I really got to dig into the world of children’s literature. I learned how to critically evaluate children’s books, where to go for the most informative reviews, and how to read genres that might not interest me personally, but might be a perfect match for a student (in my case, the two biggies were/ are science fiction and graphic novels).
Then I had two children of my own, and suddenly I was trying to instill that passion for the word into two very tiny clean slates. So far, mission accomplished with my daughter. My son is a little more active and less inclined to sit still, but will still bring me books to read, especially if we can make them loud or noisy reads. So he’s on his way, too.
In the midst of all that clean-slate teaching, I began blogging. My children are complete delights (aren’t they all?!) but I missed that professional and adult connection. Blogging allowed me to have conversations with other adults–parents, teachers, librarians– about the books we were reading.
And I began writing stories of my own. And then somebody believed enough in my stories to want to get them out into the world, a fact that still seems kind of unreal to me.
All this Friday rambling to say, this community of book people–writers, teachers, parents, librarians, publishers, agents– they’re good people. They support each other (even when they’re competing with each other), they celebrate victories, they console over losses. They freely recommend, share, and swap materials. Listen, I have a husband who works in the business world, in a region of the country where you have to be competitive in order to be successful. It can get ugly. I’m so happy to be a part of a community that, overall, rejects that work philosophy.
So thank you for being part of that community with me. And happy Friday, y’all!
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