I clearly remember a contest in elementary school where I submitted an entry to design a new bookmark for the Parchment Public Library. My gorgeous crayon sketched image of a sun drenched rainbow floating over an open story book with pristine multicolored cursive letters proclaiming “Read! It’s A Brighter Day When You Read!” was a winner the instant the image hit the paper and I was proud. Up to that particular year, my skills as a graphic designer and copy writer were not in high demand so I was pleasantly surprised when my design was picked.
While my fame as the bookmark designer spread through the neighborhood, the number of hours I was logging in as a library patron were dictated by the amount of time I could wrangle out of my parents and grandparents to drive me over. My individual visits happened bi-weekly and each sojourn sent me home with the maximum number of books I was allowed to borrow from the tall stacks in the children’s section. Eventually, to my delight, and probably that of my parents, Parchment built a new library practically in my backyard and it was soon common knowledge that if I was missing, I was at the library.
The book addiction I developed at such a young age was fed initially by Dick and Jane, Nancy Drew and Shel Silverstein and has since evolved into what Mr. VanPutten calls a compulsive obsession. Personally, I like to think of it as an enthusiastic appreciation for the written word, but no matter what it’s called, books have always fueled my life. The comfort I find between the pages of a book, whether Nancy Drew is solving the mystery of the old clock or President George Washington is explaining the mystery of the dead cherry tree, I like to think that it really is a brighter day when you read.