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It dawned upon me Saturday night as I spent time at my desk writing, that as much as I love writing, I also love reading, and I spend a large chunk of my time doing both of them.  When I first started blogging, one of my posts was an essay about “The Art of Reading.”  It occurred to me that I have written poems about books and even one about e-books, but never one devoted to my love affair with one of the finest pastimes ever devised – reading. 

My Need to Read
© 2011 Paula Tohline Calhoun

I’ve often had it asked of me, 
“If tossed from a ship by a storm-vexed sea,
Should you find yourself a cast-away
And on your own until judgment day,
What three things, if you had your say
would you want with you, besides the cliché
Of food enough and clothes to wear
And shelter from the sun’s harsh glare,
On a deserted island in a tropical sea?”
I answer, when it’s asked of me,
“I’d make my choice with no hesitation.
I think I’d consider it a grand vacation.
As long as each item can be a collection
Of similar things, I know my selection
would be a prime object of my affection –
the epitome of all that I call perfection:
I’ll take every book that I’ve ever read
And the others I want to before I’m dead.
Books I’ve read that bring me pleasure,
Those unread I know I’ll treasure.
I’ll devour with joy all that reading brings –
At the very thought and my soul takes wings!
The other two items I’d treasure and love:
Every dictionary known or unheard of
In all languages I’ve been taught or not learned of.
As I’m sure to grow older, I would take, ’cause I’d need them
for all of those books,  the eye-glasses to read them!

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The above collage is just a sampling of SOME of my overstuffed bookshelves.  It wouldn’t help for very long on a desert island, but now that I’ve got my Kindle, at least at home, I don’t have to worry about having shelf space enough. . .

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