Page 1 of 2

My Favorite Hobby : Reading

Continues for 1 more pages »
Read full document

My Favorite Hobby : Reading

Page 1 of 2
I can't begin to explain how reading has enriched my life. I live in a small fishing village called Lancaster, 200 miles northeast of Anchorage, Alaska. It's strictly a fishing and mining town with a year-long population of 424. We're a loyal, self-sufficent group, and count among our ranks five teachers, an architecht, two medical doctors and a dentist. Unfortunately, we are over three hours from the nearest city, limiting our access to most cultural events, athletics and other typical extracuricular actiivites.

That's where reading comes in. My local forefathers were an industrious bunch, who savored their independence yet acknowledged the need to augment the town's resources. I share their perspective about Lancaster being a mixed blessing. We have peace and serenity in our isolation, but we otherwise lack essential stimulation from the "lower 49". In 1977, a small group of locals, including my newly married parents, solicited funds from our county seat in Anchorage to finance the first local library. They negotiated a lease for a 400 square foot trailer on the northeast corner of our town square. Since June of 1978, 223 Main Street has been our local library and it's my favorite place in the world.

The library has only one paid employee and operates strictly with volunteers. I've worked there for free since I was fourteen, carding books, organizing shelves and serving patrons. My greatest achievement has been reading nearly every book we have. Through the power of literature, l feel that I've visited and experienced places far away from rural Lancaster. I began at age six with the Nancy Drew mystery series. I was amazed at her cunning and skill and her ability to reason her way out of any situation. By age ten I had progressed to the Alice Dywer series that chronicles a family's journey across Europe during the World Wars. The stories moved me beyond belief, magically bringing to life the history lessons I was taking in school. While my classes...