I was packing away our books today, glancing over each title as I stacked it on the others, when I got to thinking about my friend, Sarah.
Many of us would like to think we are voracious readers. Until you read like Sarah does, though, you can’t claim that title.
Sarah has 11 children. She reads during swim lessons. She reads while waiting in the pickup line after sports practices. She reads before bed. She reads in the morning. She reads to her children, with her children, and when she’s not with her children.
Bookshelves fill their home. It’s not a stretch to say she’s collected thousands upon thousands of books.
I used to spend a lot of time with Sarah and her family, when I was in college. We’d be sitting in the living room, talking, and she’d quietly get up and walk over to the shelf. She’d thumb across the rows until she found the one she wanted, open it up, and turn to a dog-eared page. She’d read something she had underlined, one time long ago—words suddenly necessary and appropriate for the conversation at hand.
Sarah does this. She quotes books in the middle of conversations. The words she has read strengthen and fortify her own convictions, arguments, and opinions. She admits that she hasn’t come to her (strong!) beliefs in a vacuum.
As I was packing away my books today and thinking about how much I’ve been reading lately, I realized: I want to be like Sarah. And the only way to do that is to read and read and read some more.
I’m slowing my world, even as THE world is spiraling out of control.
I’m re-discovering these books, my oldest loves, and I can feel my brain growing. My conversations are becoming more interesting. My children are happier. My mind is working, but at ease.
These books are re-forming me into someone I’ve wanted to become for a very, very long time indeed.
Someone like Sarah.
Author's note: I wrote this in March, when I was finishing up the last of the packing in our Oregon home!
hey, i'm jordan.
i write here because i think our words are worth sharing.