“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” I do not know George R. R. Martin, who is credited with this quote, but he is/was a very wise man.
From my 6h birthday on, we lived across the street from a community library. I know now it was small, but it seemed vast to me. Cora Nolan, the librarian was everyone’s ideal well-read grandmother who answered questions cheerfully, tolerated my imagination, recommended books she knew I’d love, and added more to my life than she ever knew. Though she has gone to her earthly reward decades ago, she made me rich. Her impact equaled lighting a candle in a dark room with a flame that has grown steadily brighter.
Our library was open six days a week and I went daily. Through elementary school, besides homework, I read two books every day and discussed them with her. Though Lucretia Ann on the Oregon Trail, Adopted Jane, The Boxcar Children, and a biography series on presidents and famous people were Junior Reader size, not thick books, they added up. Soon I advanced to adult volumes. I read all of Sherlock Holmes by age eleven, and Pearl S. Buck and Steinbeck. When my card stock library cards frayed and tattered from use, she replaced them saying I was the library’s most frequent user. If I had one of those tattered cards now I would dip it in gold to mount on the wall to convey what her gift meant.
Books expanded my world and introduced me to other peoples, times, and places that I loved. What I found in books inspired me get involved, pursue dreams, and travel further than that elementary girl dreamed.
How many lives did Cora Nolan give me? A thousand thousand and still counting and adding more. How can I thank her? Pass on the gift.
Now, please tell how someone encouraged and influenced you. Tell us how many lives you live daily, monthly, yearly through great books--and how you pass on that blessing.