Thoughtful Thursday: Giving thanks and increasing literacy

Today we welcome Bradley Wirz, founder and CEO of GoneReading International, a non-profit organization that funds reading related charities. Since we first mentioned this wonderful organization, they have funded their first library in Ethiopia! You can support GoneReading by purchasing some of their gifts for readers such as the ones shown here. There are many more at their website and 100% of the profits go toward increasing literacy around the world. We’ll pick one commenter (anywhere in the world) who may choose up to $25 worth of merchandise from the GoneReading store!

Take Me To Your ReaderExactly what am I thankful for when it comes to reading? Now that’s a big question. I hardly know where to start.

I’m thankful for my parents, who taught me the importance of the written word before I really knew anything of books or newspapers or magazines. But watching them spend all of those hours in front of them, I knew that there must be something important on those pages.

I’m thankful for teachers who read to us each day in school, instilling passion and magic into the stories they read. They didn’t just teach me to read; they taught me that reading should be fantastically fun, and that reading could teach me anything I wanted to know.

Bamboo-Bathtub-Caddy-v2-300x300I’m thankful for my school librarians, always ready to recommend books that were just right for me. And I’m thankful for the libraries of my childhood. They overwhelmed me; how can there possibly be so much knowledge, so much story to absorb? I wanted to read them all, and I still do.

I’m thankful for every bookstore I’ve ever visited. I love them all, but my favorites are the used bookstores because you never know what you’ll find. There’s nothing quite like the joy of discovering a little bookstore you’ve never seen before.

I’m thankful for great writing. I deeply love the printed book, and I’ve grown to love my Kindle. But what really matters is the writing. I’m thankful for the countless writers who dedicate their lives to crafting the perfect phrase, sentence and story. To this non-writer, I simply can’t imagine the dedication it takes to write a book, let alone a great one. To them, I’m thankful.

It-Was-A-Dark-And-Stormy-Night-Games-About-Books-300x300I’m thankful for a warm cup of coffee and a tired dog at my feet while I read. I’m thankful for stodgy old books on ancient history, and for Charles Dickens, my newly favorite novelist.

The ancient Roman orator Cicero once said “If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need,” and I couldn’t agree more. Of course, I don’t know anything about gardening. Perhaps someone can recommend a good book about it?

Readers, what are you thankful for?

One commenter (anywhere in the world) will choose up to $25 worth of merchandise from the GoneReading store. (Which is a great place to buy Christmas gifts for your favorite readers!)

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  1. I’m thankful for librarians everywhere, and for the small specialty presses like Subterranean and Tachyon for bringing back lost treasures and even unearthing previously unpublished gems.

  2. Melanie Goldmund /

    I’m thankful for the fact that I am able to read. Even to-day, there are people, especially women, in the world who don’t have the chance to learn, which makes me incredibly sad.

    I’m also thankful for the fact that I have access to practically any book I want. Whether printed or e-book, if I’m willing to pay the price, it’s there for me. I’m thankful for bookstores, libraries, and, yes, amazon.

    I’m also thankful for every book I’ve ever read and everything I’ve learned from reading those books. All those little bits and pieces that I’ve picked up have helped to make me who I am to-day.

    I’m also thankful for all the many authors who’ve written the books I’ve read, and who’ve given me entertainment and instruction.

    I’m not sure that I agree with Cicero, though, or at least not completely. What do you need a garden for if you have a library? ;-)

  3. Kelly, what a lovely column!

    I’m grateful for all the teachers who encouraged me to read. Without them, the bullies who thought it was weird that I always had a book with me might have convinced me it was wiser to give it up. It would have changed my entire life.

    I’m grateful for my husband, who never complains when we get yet another package from Amazon, who never says, “Would you please put that book down and watch TV with me?”, who encouraged me to start writing reviews and fiction, and who reads aloud to me. Our relationship was built on books (the ad I ran that caught his eye bore the title, “Do You Like to Read?” and my first email to him after he responded warned him that I was serious about books — that weeded out a lot of men who weren’t really interested, but drew him to me like a moth to a flame). Books continue to tie us together. I love him more than books, and he knows that means a hell of a lot.

    I’m thankful for friends who read.

    And I’m thankful for my compatriots at Fantasy Literature. To all of you, and to the readers who make what we do worthwhile, happy turkey!

  4. I like these.

  5. April V. /

    Gosh. All of the above! I’m thankful for my local library when I was a kid – it was my refuge, my playhouse and where I made many friends. I’m thankful for all the authors that provide one of my greatest pleasures in life. I’m thankful that I have decent eyes to read with and should those fail me I’m thankful for audiobooks. If my ears go too, I might be lost! I’m also thankful for the internet which gave me access to new and interesting stuff to read and acquainted me with others that enjoy books as much as I do!

  6. Danielle B. /

    I’m grateful for libraries, my Mom and Dad met when working for the same library. Though for Dad is was just a side job while in graduate school. I’m thankful for growing up the daughter of a librarian and Mom has taught me the importance (and just plain fun)of reading from a very early age. And ultimately I’m thankful for free access to good books.

  7. sandyg265 /

    I’m thankful for friends and family

  8. I’m thankful for my parents, who never thought I was too young to read any book.
    I’m thankful for my husband, who understands why there is no dinner when I’m reading something great.

  9. I’m thankful for my family. In the end, it all comes down to family and if you have that, you’re the richest person in the world.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. I’m thankful for my family who don’t seem to mind that I always have “a book in my ear.”

  11. OH, and right now I’m thankful for having a life that’s easy enough that I usually have time for reading. I haven’t had any in the past week due to hosting family for the holidays and having tons of grading to do. This is unusual for me and makes me thankful that normally I do have time to read.

  12. Marion /

    Kokolo, you have won $25 worth of merchandise from GoneReading! Please contact me (Marion) for details.

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