Be A Girl Who Reads

Be a girl who reads. Be the girl who finds enjoyment in the written word, delights at the thoughts she finds, marvels in the plots and characters.

Read often, and read everything. Have an endless curiosity about the world and those who live in it. Discover new cultures and places; expand your mind beyond your own country and your own life.

Find new authors and new books every day. Compile an ever-growing list of printed materials to read. Browse the stacks of bookstores and libraries; get lost in their mighty labyrinths.

Embrace the popular and the obscure; realize that you need not be confined by genres or labels. Whether they are biography, memoir, fiction, non-fiction …all have a place upon the bookshelf of your mind.

Keep childhood favorites sacred. Never forget the moment you received your first library card, your first book of your own. Remember fondly reading events at school and how excited you were that books were given out for free. Recall how grateful you were, for your favorite book was already worn, pages dirtied, and cover torn by your constant reading.

Recall your first trip to the library, when you wondered how many books you could read in a lifetime and felt utterly certain that the library contained a multitude of treasures.

Bring a book with you wherever you go. Embrace purses and bags, not for their feminine qualities, but because they enable you to carry more books and keep them hidden. Less fights with your parents about bringing books to family reunions, easier to sneak books into classes; become known as ‘the girl with a book’.

Be passionate about books, the ones you love and the ones you don’t. Have opinions. Find other readers and discuss. Share your experiences and thoughts about why this book. Defend banned and controversial books. Understand that people have the right to decide what to read for themselves.

Realize that everyone has their own tastes, their own reading preferences. Suggest books freely but do not be upset when turned down. Remember that we approach books when we are ready for them. The stories are patient. They will wait for us.

Attempt the classics; succeed and fail. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis will be incredible, Les Miserables will be daunting, and Edith Wharton will enrage you. Move on, find other authors. Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett are happy to have you in their readership.

Read the popular titles. Fall in love with Harry Potter, restrain yourself from throwing Twilight . Remember Ranganathan, ‘every reader his or her book’ and ‘for every book its reader’. There are endless possibilities. You’ll find the ones you love.

Be a reader, and be yourself. Don’t waste time on books you don’t enjoy. Don’t convince yourself that there are books you must love. Remember, always, this very simple rule:

When in doubt, ask a librarian.

The Monica Bird


About handshedown

Keighley Perkins is a Cardiff-based poet whose influences include Anis Mojgani, Selima Hill and Richard Brautigan. Her work has previously been published in "Acumen", "Elbow Room", "Erbacce", "Fire", "Northwind" and "Obsessed with Pipework". She can also be found online on Twitter at @handshedown. View all posts by handshedown

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