Whew! This book is the final entrant for my 52 in 52 challenge! When my bibliophile best friend Lara suggested that we take on this challenge, I was fearful and excited at the same time. I mean - I love to read, how hard could it be? Oftentimes it was not as hard as many suspected it would be - but trust me, I suffered my trials and tribulations get some of these books completed in the time allotted! I still had to go to work, raise a child and throughout most of the project work on and maintain a relationship. The kid got raised, the job is still there, but sadly, the boyfriend did not make it. It wasn't because I was reading so much (I hope!!) but because relationships are hard. I learned that this year and so many other things while reading my way through the year.
Lara suggested that this be our last book and I was happy to take it on. I will not lie, I was excited by the very slimness of the volume. Ms. Quindlen offers that she was a young, escapist reader - much like myself. I would escape into Little Women, The Wizard of Oz, or anything else that I could check out from the library. I learned about kissing and boys and being a responsible citizen and far-off places from the volumes of books that I read. So reading changed my life the first time I cracked open Danny and The Dinosaur and read the whole thing myself. Words transported and transformed me. I love words and connected - I love the stories they tell. I passed that love of reading on to my child, who often has at least one book tucked into her backpack. I love to look over at her when she is reading - head in a cloud, completely transfixed by what is going on in the story.
This year of 2010 was a tough one, I lost some friends and some family and there were some physical setbacks as well - but the constant was the books that were to come and the ones that I completed. Those books help to buoy me through this year, they helped me to temporarily escape to some place completely different from the place I was in, it was not always a happier place - but it was certainly, always a different place. So this year - more than any other, reading absolutely changed my life. Reading reminded me that I have an active, hungry brain that needs to be fed, it reminded me that I have a capacity to learn new things, it reminded me it is often great to get lost in a good book. Thank you reading, thank you Anna Quindlen for writing a lovely final book and thank you Lara for suggesting that we take this crazy journey! It was divine.