I recently read an article in which Hope Solo talked about how reading saved her life. She discussed her broken family as a child, and how she used reading as a way to escape from the chaos of her life and ultimately heal. She is now arguably one of the best soccer players in the world, and she is a prominent face on the U.S Women’s National Soccer Team.
I am reminded of the beginning of my own love affair with reading which started with The Patchwork Girl of Oz by Frank L. Baum and blossomed with The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis. I was fascinated by the idea of another world existing on the other side of my closet wall. A world filled with beautiful forest, strange creatures and lots of excitement. I was even more fascinated at the thought of being gone for hours, days, and even years, while seeming only gone for minutes! I can still remember the feeling of being pulled into Narnia along with Lucy and her siblings and wanting to touch Aslan’s fur and have him be my friend.
I am reminded that reading gave me hope. It gave me hope that there was something bigger and better out there in the world. Something bigger and better than the world I lived in, but that I knew was out there. Reading gave me a safe, fun place to go without having to go anywhere.
Many of the lessons I have learned about love, friendship, family and happiness, I have learned, or had reinforced, through a journey in a novel I was reading. Many of my happiest moments have been sitting curled up on a couch with a warm blanket covering my toes, a steaming cup of coffee, and a great book filling my mind, body and spirit.
Hope Solo describes being inspired when she read. I know the feeling and I hope that I can inspire a love of reading in every student whose life I have an opportunity to touch.