Summer proves to be an oasis for bookworm

Sep 4 • Opinion • 216

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I was one of those kids who religiously read her cereal box in the morning.
I loved silent reading time in school and looked forward to devouring as many books as possible during the summer, usually perched in a tree or lying in bed with my feet propped against the wall.
Minus the tree climbing, this past summer was no exception. As soon as I got home from Gannon, I tossed my physics notes in the recycling bin and made a beeline for the library.
I love the bright and modern atmosphere of Nash, but there’s something special about my local two-story brick building.
There’s the children’s section, where I always begged my grandma to check out Halloween books, even though it would be Christmas or Easter. Then there’s the teen room with those awesome over-sized beanbag chairs, which you are never too old for. And finally there’s the adult collection, which at 10 years old, I was sure held all kinds of secrets.
I have so many fond and formative memories tied to that building; walking through the doors is like slipping on my favorite sweatshirt.
On my first visit this summer, I perused the shelves with abandon, giddy like a grade schooler at the thought of the three months stretched before me.
Sure, I’d be working full time at a garden center and moonlighting as the wacky neighborhood dog walker, but there would still be plenty of free time without the demands of school and extracurriculars.
I couldn’t wait to get lost in the whimsical worlds of Neil Gaiman and Ray Bradbury. I wanted to devour so much Stephen King that I’d refuse to sleep without a protective ring of stuffed animals.
Heck, I was even itching to live vicariously through a cheesy romance or two.
I left with an armful of books that day and dutifully lathered, rinsed and repeated as the summer wore on.
Those three months didn’t disappoint. In fact, I’m coming back to school with a strengthened resolve to read more during the academic year.
Reading for pleasure fills me up in so many ways that it’s silly to save it only for summer. I read to recharge, to learn, and sometimes to just lose myself in another world.
At the moment, I’m halfway through “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Charles Dawkins and absolutely loving it.
It’s a science book, but livelier than a typical textbook. Don’t get me wrong; I love reading textbooks like I love reading cereal boxes (coming from me, that’s not a sarcastic statement), but there’s something captivating about science when it’s written like a detective novel.
The book is as insightful for those well-versed in biology as it is for the general public. My understanding of evolution and appreciation for the interconnectedness of life have deepened considerably since picking it up.
After Dawkins, “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson is next on my list. I’m on a bit of a science kick, as you can tell!
Even if I don’t read quite as voraciously throughout the year as I did over the summer, you’ll still definitely be able to find me in the morning behind a comforting wall of cereal boxes.

ALEX STAUFF
conantst001@knights.gannon.edu

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