Growing up the only kid in my class who had divorced parents was hard. To be totally honest, it sucked wind in more ways that I can ever express adequately. Kids are cruel, there’s no denying that, but adults are equally, if not more so, at times.
Because I was considered different since my last name wasn’t the same as my remarried mother’s, I tended to be that loner kid who sat in the back of the class, kept her head down, did really well with schoolwork and loved to read. I was so thankful at the time that I could go to the school library, or my public one, anytime I
wanted and no one would bother or harass me if I just wanted to wile away my hours reading.
And wile away I did.
You know how every now and then there are published studies that say you sleep
this much in your lifetime, or you spend this many hours per day driving to work?
Well, if they ever do a study about how many hours the average person reads in
their lifetime, I will be sosososososo above the norm it will be hysterically funny.
As a kid I was thankful for the escape from a lousy life that books gave me. As an
adult, even though my life is no longer challenging, I’m still thankful for the ability to
dive freely into a good book. And I’m thankful that I live in a country where I can
read across the spectrum of any book I want. There are countries and societies
where certain types of books are routinely banned and burned. Individual ideas are
discouraged and certain words are rejected as being seditious and subversive.
I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to live in a place where I couldn’t
read what I wanted to read.
So when I’m asked what I’m truly thankful for, it’s that I – by the grace of God or
good fortune – live in a country where I am free to read what I want to read. To have
the freedom to choose the words and ideas I want to explore. To have the liberty to
walk into any bookstore or library and request the book I want to have.
And with that freedom to read anything I want, I am also thankful I have the right
and desire to write anything I want without the fear of censure, imprisonment, or
This Thanksgiving, after the turkey has been carved and eaten, the football games
are all being watched, and the kids are writing their letters to Santa, I will be curled
up in corner, a fleece throw blanket covering my legs, happily reading a book from
And I just may stay in that chair for the entire weekend, just reading.