22. April 2013 · 12 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

 

I love to read. Since about age five or six, it has been one of the great pleasures of my life. When I read, I traverse the world and skip across time. No place is too remote to explore, no experience is too foreign to undertake, no time is beyond my reach. And the people I get to befriend! They are astonishing. No matter what mood I am in, I can get in a better one by picking up a great book.

In the forty plus years since I discovered this love, reading has provided a wellspring of joy. Doing what brings me joy helps me be well and stay well. Being well and staying well is the subject of this blog. I plan to write each week about one way of being well and staying well. A big part of wellness is to discover what you love, and commit yourself to do what brings you joy. Reading brings me joy.

What better place for a reader than the LA Times Festival of Books? My husband Steve and I have gone every year for the last nine years. It may be our favorite weekend of the year. We just spent two days at the festival (held at USC) and are brimming with excited conversation; discussing challenging ideas, debating everything from secularism to syntax, buying deeply discounted books, and jotting down curious thoughts sparked by the lectures. Each time we go, we realize more fully that we have not even scratched the surface of all there is to explore and enjoy in the world of literature.

We heard intriguing lectures by writers such as Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anna Quindlen. We enjoyed panel discussions on topics such as “The Politics of Poetry,”  “Not Just Writing Good: Writing Well,” and “Fiction: The Social Novel.”  I even got to hear one of my favorite entertainers, Carol Burnett, talk about her recent book Carrie and Me and hear her recount hilarious stories from her years doing her variety show. It brought me back to my girlhood pleasure of laughing at the darkly comic Ed, Mama, and Eunice. And of course, the dopey but shapely “Mrs Sa’wiggens.”

So today ends well. I have joy. I spent time with the one I love, exploring what we both love. And this is just the beginning … of so many more good stories.