One of the greatest things that ever happened to me, a day that changed my life, was the day when, as a young child, my aunt took me to the public library.
I grew up in the country, outside a town of four thousand people in rural Wisconsin. Life was good. I had plenty of room to wander through woods and fields, and developed a strong imagination. There was fresh air, clean water, and plenty of food. It was a good, safe place to be a kid; it was very ordinary.
The day I opened the door of the public library was like entering a magic kingdom where anything could happen. The books in that library shaped and inspired me, told me what I needed to know, and gave me new places to explore. They told me about the world beyond my family and small town, and introduced me to unforgettable characters. I became one of those kids who are the perennial winners of the summer reading program.
In many ways, opening the door of the public library was my first step forward into the rest of my life.
I still love to read good books, and to talk about them with the people who write them. Even when I read them on my iPad, I appreciate the way a well written book gets me to pay attention, engages my imagination, sparks things for me to think about, and persuades me to understand things in new ways. Good writing includes passion and craft, well-turned phrases and well-considered ideas.
My love for good writing is one of the biggest reasons it has been a challenge for me to even tell people that I am working on a book of my own; writing a book is one of the most intimidating things I have ever done.
What are the days that changed your life?
[Image by origamidon]