C.J. Darlington asked these 9 Authors…”Why do you love to read?”

ROBIN JONES GUNN: I’m a slow reader. I always have been. In 2nd grade my teacher had a chart on the wall to mark our progress. My name was written on a turtle sticker and not on one of the cute bunny stickers. The stigma stayed with me and I never read for a spurt of enjoyment. Instead, I read so that I could experience the story in my imagination. The characters became my friends. I traveled to the location of the book. My favorite experience as a college student was “going” to Perelandra one summer through the novel by C.S. Lewis.  Several years ago when I was slowly making my way through John Steinbeck’s East of Eden I discovered the passage below and the turtle/bunny label of childhood was removed. I discovered I was a “Tom” and not a “Samuel” and I liked that very much. “Samuel rode lightly on top of a book and he balanced happily among ideas the way a man rides white rapids in a canoe. But Tom got into a book, crawled and groveled between the covers, tunneled like a mole among the thoughts, and came up with the book all over his face and hands.”

DEBORAH RANEY: A big part of the joy of reading for me is the memories associated with books. My mom read to us five children from the time we were just babies, but for me it was extra special since I had asthma as a child and sometimes was stuck in the house during an asthma attack. Mothe (our nickname for Mother) turned that difficult, feeling-left-out time into an adventure because she taught me that with a good book, you’re never “stuck,” never bored, and you always have a friend!

CANDACE CALVERT: Even as a youngster—crying into her spaghetti after finishing Charlotte’s Web—reading felt like a secret tunnel to places populated by friends I’d yet to meet. A place to linger, learn, wonder, yearn. These busy days, reading time often feels like a reward, too. Lists checked, words written, dinner prepped: passage through the secret tunnel earned. Ah, I’m back, friends.


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