Please read this...Finding a gem, or two, at library book sale


<p class="p1">Truth be told, it would have been hard to top the weather which Mother Nature provided last weekend for Union County's 2015 ColorFest celebration. </p><p class="p1">We had lots of sunshine and a bright blue sky. Saturday morning started a little bit cool, nothing that a nice, hot cup of fresh-brewed coffee couldn't handle.</p><p class="p1">One of the many events held during ColorFest weekend was a book sale at Stinson Memorial Library in Anna. The sale was hosted by the Friends of Stinson Library. </p><p class="p1">For purposes of full disclosure, let me just say that the Friends of Stinson Library were kind enough to honor yours truly in November 2011 with an honorary life membership. It was an honor which meant, and continues to mean, a great deal to me.</p><p class="p1">The work done by the Friends of Stinson is very important, especially nowadays, and, perhaps, especially in the State of Illinois, given the current situation regarding the budget, or lack thereof. The work they do to support the library is tremendous, and I would say that even without the aforementioned life membership honor.</p><p class="p1">Books, as you probably have come to realize, are a very important part of my life. Appreciation for the printed word was a gift shared by my father, as I have noted a number of times in this space.</p><p class="p1">The way I see it, there are simply too many books that I would like to read, and not anywhere near enough time to do all of that reading. Nevertheless, I still go to book sales. I am often accompanied by The Other Half, who also enjoys reading. </p><p class="p1">We often look for books which were written by a favorite author, or, perhaps, a topic which we find interesting. That's another challenge: we have so many things that interest us. And it seems like we are always finding something new to learn about.</p><p class="p1">By the way, when we are talking about "books," we are, once again, talking about "real" books. The kind printed on paper. Electronic books are OK, I suppose. But, given a choice, I'm going with old-fashioned paper and ink.</p><p class="p1">Do we "need" more books? Nah. Yet, there I was last Saturday morning, once again visiting a used book sale. That's where I found a little gem titled "The Reading Promise," which was subtitled "My Father and the Books We Shared." The author of the book is Alice Ozma.</p><p class="p1">Ozma shares a special story about books that she and her father read aloud together, from the time she was in the 4th grade until she went to college. </p><p class="p1">The book's foreword was written by Jim Brozina, who is the author's dad. In the foreword, dad shared a couple of important messages.</p><p class="p1">One of those messages was addressed to parents: take your child to the local public library. The other message shared a finding from the U.S. Department of Education's Commission of Reading: "The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children."</p><p class="p1">As I read the first few pages of "The Reading Promise," I couldn't help but think about a time, way back in the day, when this dad read all of the books in the Little House on the Prairie series to his daughter. Mushy memory. Yes, indeed.</p><p class="p1">Saturday's visit to the library also gave me a chance to experience a "Storywalk" ColorFest activity. StoryWalk is a project "created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and was developed in collaboration with the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Storywalk is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson." There, we got some of that legal stuff out of the way.</p><p class="p1">The activity allowed children, and at least one old guy, an opportunity to follow a path based on a story titled "Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf," which was written by Lois Ehlert. Storywalk and its 15 stations featured the story, and all sorts of hands-on and discussion activities.  I figure that any activity which allows children to read a story and have some fun is a really good thing.</p><p class="p1">One of the discussion questions asked: "Where would you be happy to stay forever?" Hmmmm, I thought, a library might be a pretty good choice...or, maybe, pretty much anywhere where I could just sit and read a good book.</p>

Leaves were featured in a ColorFest hands-on activity for the young, and the young at heart, last Saturday at Stinson Memorial Library in Anna.

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