It is no secret that many writers started off as (and continue to be) avid readers. I’ve been a book lover for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, when I was a kid, finding books to devour wasn’t as simple as walking to my nearest library.
You see, we lived far out in the country and didn’t have the means to go to the public library very often. Ever, actually. So I was limited to my rural elementary school’s library. Not the worst situation, but still not ideal for someone obsessed with books. So when the library in my town implemented a “books by mail” program, I was overjoyed. I still remember the excitement when the mailman would deposit that mustard-yellow canvas bag – filled with an assortment of new reads – in my mailbox each week. I had all new adventures to lose myself in. Every. Single. Day.
It was an amazing opportunity for a rural kid with limited options.
Which is why, when of all things, a floating book store docked on our island last week, I was surprised and overjoyed and even a little nostalgic. I was really happy that the local kids would have a chance to browse aisles and aisles of books, and maybe take home a book that could change their life. (Books can do that, you know.)
And, of course, I couldn’t wait to check it out myself. I spent an hour or so wandering around and looking at book titles. This particular ship, Logos Hope, is operated by a religious group in Germany. So, of course, many of the books had a religious tone and there was a whole section of bibles, etc. But there was also a great selection of kids’ books, fiction, non-fiction, etc. that had little to nothing to do with religion. Choices for all, whatever your preference.
It was a nice afternoon, and I even bought a book myself. I was happy and it was amazing to see the sparkling eyes of the kids around me who were taking it all in – some, maybe, for the first time. It was nice to see that excitement. Reminded me of myself unzipping those mustard-yellow canvas bags all those years ago.
Thanks, Logos Hope, for bringing more reading opportunities to kids (and grown-ups) in remote locations.