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.





  1. Wendy housholder

    Reading is my passion! I totally understand what you mean.

  2. Wendy, this is such a new venture for me – doing a blog. Steve talked me into it, but I already like it, now that you are my first responder. It feels a bit strange, but as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do something that scares you every day.” Thank you so much for your response, and I hope we can talk soon about our favorite books!

  3. As you know I too am addicted to the written word. I read non fiction and expand my world,I read fiction series and grow attached to the characters and I read fluff and escape mindlessly. I am a supporter of the library but also own books that I love looking at. I don’t go anywhere without my little book to write down titles I might see. Whatever it is my mind and body don’t function at the same level if I don’t read. I love that this is the first topic of your blog.

    • So true for me as well Pat! I agree with all you said about reading. What about all this technology? I can’t quite fathom this digital age … in which I just wrote this and am already afforded the pleasure of your reply. This might really be fun! I thought I was a luddite, but maybe I am being seduced by the prospect of such immediate feedback and connections. I would like to write a blog each week. I hope you will be an ongoing reader. What is your last great read?

  4. Jeannine Thomas

    Reading became my best friend when I was in 3rd Grade. I remember eagerly going through the scholastic book club order and picking out the books I wanted to purchase. How excited I would get when I would see the box delivered to our classroom. Books became my great escape. I even recall my Language Arts teacher in 7th grade explaining to my parents at a conference how I would escape to my books and read instead of participating in class. I feel sad that too often I only read for my job and not for myself. This summer when I am no longer grading assignments, I am pledging to get back to my first love-READING for fun.

    • Oh Jeannine, what a wonderful memory! I remember the scholastic books coming to the class also. I didn’t get to order them often, but loved it when I got to place an order. (My mom took us to the Anoka county Library every week, so she felt little need to spend money on purchasing books). Then I married a man (and now have raised a son) who consider buying books more important than buying food.

      You were quite the bookworm Jeannine.I don’t think your teacher had anything to worry about – look how well you turned out!

  5. What a wonderful reflection! I can’t agree more about reading! It is a joy to open up a book and let its pages broaden your life to new ideas, adventures, and possibilities. Thank you for starting this blog on health and joy! It was fun to hear about your weekend and I will enjoy reconnecting with you again in this way after all these years.

  6. It is such a treat to hear from you Dave. Glad you enjoyed the blog. Happy reading!

  7. I just finished Physician by Noah Gordon and loved it.

  8. Kathy McGillivray

    Sometimes, I’ll reread a book because the characters can almost feel like old friends.

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