My mother in-law bought me a T-shirt many years ago and I’m wearing it now.
“I’d rather be reading,” it says.
And, I would.
She bought it to celebrate our shared love of books and also because she was waging a sweet little “You’ve Got Mail” type protest in support of her local bookstore, which sold her the shirt.
I’m happy to say Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville Illinois is still in business, despite the encroachment of a giant Barnes and Noble.
Score another one for Grandma Mary Jane, children’s book author and selective political activist.
I got to honor her the best way I know earlier this week when I had the pleasure of reading to a bunch of polite little peanuts. They wore cool light up shoes, asked interesting questions and hugged me when I was all through with the book.
One little girl asked me if I was a doctor. “Why, no,” I said, briefly flattered. “Because you smell like a hospital,” she said.
I genuinely loved my time with the little ones at the Salvation Army Child Care Center. They gamely hooted along with me as I read them one of my favorite children’s books, “Owl Moon,” even though another guest read them the exact same book just the day before.
What are the odds? There must be a million great children’s books out there.
They sat politely in their friendship circle and the five-year old group even asked for an encore.
I’d rather be reading and I’m very grateful to neighborhood bookstores, talented authors, feisty grandmas, and sweet little children with big imaginations and apparently strong senses of smell.
All of our kids loved the Arthur books.
Here is Molly at six-years old enjoying a summer afternoon reading.
I’d rather be reading. Here’s my vintage shirt…and that’s all you need to see of me in this early morning hour.