It’s that time of year again, fellow book lovers! There’s snow on the ground and a fire in the hearth. Halls are being decked, bells are being jingled. The air smells faintly of gingersnaps and peppermint. And I’m holed up inside reading books.
I may not be the biggest fan of winter, but I love the month of December. I love Christmas, I love family, I love to read… AND I love the Doctor Who Christmas special. It’s truly a magical time.
It may seem silly, but I do consider myself blessed to be able to take part in Bookstravaganza every year. I’ve been around since the humble beginnings, a lucky, last minute add-on to the initial reading contest that later became Bookstravaganza. Now, three years later, I get to spend a whole month reading and talking about books with the coolest people in the world. And on top of that, I get to help raise money for a wonderful cause.
I’m thrilled that Bookstravaganza 2014’s chosen case for support is the Edmonton Public Library’s Welcome Baby program. It’s so important to foster a love of reading into our children, and we start building those important literacy skills in the first few years of life. By reading aloud to children, we help them build literary habits that will prepare them to learn to read early, a hugely important factor in a child’s academic and social success. Reading has been proven over and over again to help children’s brain development, reduce stress, and even help foster empathy and understanding towards others. Those who participate in the arts (literature, theatre, music, etc.), are more engaged in their communities–they exercise more, play more sports, do more volunteer and charity work, and more often create themselves. A community of readers is healthier, successful, engaged, informed, and connected. When we read, we are better people; when we read, we are a stronger community. The EPL’s Welcome Baby program is doing more than encouraging a love of reading: it’s helping us create a stronger, kinder, and more vibrant Edmonton. Please consider donating; building a better community is a big job, and we need your help.
So, dear readers, come join us on this ridiculous journey. Donate to the cause, read our reviews, and watch our insanity slowly crumble. Tell us how your Christmas reading list is going, argue with us about the books… engage with us. Let’s build a community of readers.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a boatload of handmade Christmas presents to finish before December 1st. I can’t have anything distract me from reading until my eyes hurt.