Say Yes to Readingby Kelli Stuart
We pushed open the door and a bell chimed over our heads. The shop smelled musty and old, but somehow that only adds to the nostalgia of this particular memory. My mom would set me loose into the shop with a bag to fill with the treasures I found, and off I'd go, wandering through the shelves like I'd entered a new land.
We were in a used book shop.
Mom would take me to this old shop at the beginning of every summer and let me pick out a stack of books to get me through the coming days. We'd go just before our vacation, when long stretches of time in the car provided ample, uninterrupted reading time.
Ten dollars went a long way in this old book shop, and I'd come home with stacks of treasured books, begging to take me away to far off places.
Mom would usually give me one book and tell me to savor it. Then she'd hide the rest until it was time to leave for vacation so that I wouldn't tear through all of them before we left.
Sometimes I long for those carefree summer days again, when I'd come in from the pool all sticky and tired, and I'd curl up under a blanket by the window and read. There weren't the distractions of social media, or television, and I certainly wasn't responsible for anyone else but myself back then. I could just sit and read. All day.
As an adult, I still get a similar flutter of joy when I walk into a bookstore. Walls lined with books sends my pulse into spasms of delight, but there's a conflicting emotion that accompanies the thrill: frustration.
Finding the time to read has become exceedingly difficult as the number of children in my home has expanded, and their ever-present needs have increased. Add to that the fact that I'm now one of the people who writes the books, and most days if I'm not caring for children, you will find me tapping away at my computer.
But I miss reading. I pull out books each night before bed, and I read for a few minutes, but my eyelids droop, and sleep calls loud, so the books sit stacked on my nightstand as I slowly make my way through them.
I miss the thrill of sitting down at 2:00 on a summer day and cracking open a new story.
I miss that feeling of wanting to read just one more page because you simply have to know what happens next.
I miss reading.
So this summer I've given myself permission to enjoy a few good books. I've reminded myself that reading is a worthy passing of my time and, in fact, sets a better example to my children in how to fill quiet moments than Facebook, email, or even working does.
I've said yes to reading, and maybe you would like to as well?
[Tweet "Give Yoursef the freedom to get lost in a book this summer. Say yes to reading!"]
The key to sitting down and enjoying the process of reading is in finding a book that you can't put down. It just so happens I have the perfect book for you.
My first novel, Like a River From Its Course*, releases June 27. A historical fiction novel set in World War II Soviet Ukraine, this book is the culmination of over a decade of research, of writing and re-writing...and re-writing again. It is based on the true stories of over 100 veterans that I personally interviewed over the years, and it's receiving rave reviews.
"I couldn't put the book down." Amazon Review
"Gritty and Touching." Publisher's Weekly
"This is a book I won't soon forget." Amazon Review
"Powerful and Engrossing." Library Journal
"I didn't expect this book to sear white-hot into my soul." Amazon Review
These are just a few of the reviews the book has received, and I'd love to have all of you take this journey into the unknown stories of World War II Soviet Ukraine with me.
Like a River From Its Course is now available for purchase on Amazon. For more information on the book, and on the many stories that inspired it, please visit my website.
Give yourself permission to get lost in a good book this summer. Say yes to reading, and remember those carefree days of being swept away into a new world.
*affiliate link included