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Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Can't Remember a Day without Books

My barber asked me this morning if I go everywhere with a book in my hand. She's been cutting my hair for several years now and she remarked that she doesn't recall a single time that I sat in her chair without first closing the book that I carried in with me. She's right; I don't recall a single time either.

That got me to thinking about the difference between avid readers and those who either don't read at all or who only read one of the giant bestsellers once or twice a year. What turned some of us into readers and left so many others unblessed with the inclination? Is it genetic? Are some us simply born that way and others not? It's kind of scary to think that something like a love of reading, something that has played such a large part in my life, was given to me through sheer, random chance. I have only one sibling, a non-reading brother, and I cringe to think that there was a 50-50 chance that I had missed out on the "reading gene" and that the little fellow instead had ended up in his DNA rather than in mine. Of course, he's probably just as happy being a non-reader as I am being a book nut since he has no way to know what he's missing. But still...

I'm coming to believe that it is near impossible to turn a person who is inclined to be a non-reader into an avid one. Yes, you might be able to move them along the reading scale in that direction, but I don't believe that they will ever turn into one of the book nuts like us. That spark is either there, waiting to flame up when it's ready, or it's not there at all and throwing all the gasoline in the world on it won't start a fire.

Am I wrong?
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