May 15, 2012

A Challenge to Encourage Reading

By Leesa Ostrander

I was in my doctor’s office today for a follow up of an auto accident last summer. He walked in said hi and “wow, your reading that? How do you like it?”

I was reading Anna Karenina. My comment back, “Yes, I am re-reading it because I loved it and it had been a few years so wanted to relive it.”

The next fifteen minutes rotated around Russian 18th century and Tutor time period literature. I was surprised to find how well-read he is and his depth of understanding with history.

Sure, he is a physician and has a life outside his patients. He has been my physician for the last 8 years and every time I go in the office I’m amazed. He also, has 10 kids!

Back to our discussion, I learned from him there are many pieces I have neglected and now want to read. For instance, Catherine the Great, he said he enjoyed and is worth the read. I also learned how a book connected us on a human level. This is important as we try to create a community and reach out with our words.

He then spent another 20 minutes with me discussing my physical therapy. In the end, I have more respect for him, the time he spent with me and he surprised me.

I know many people who say, “Oh, I hate reading!” or “I don’t have time to read.”

So is reading a priority or a lifestyle?

I think that if reading becomes a lifestyle it leads to many other life adventures and understanding. A lifestyle full of adventures fills our journal with stories, enhances our own plot lines, the memories are countless and challenges become possible.

By enhancing our understanding, creativity, logical sequence of plot and general expansion of vocabulary the world becomes more positive and doable. We can learn from other stories and have examples of how to tackle a tough spot. Or just escape for a little while.

I challenge everyone, to find a local literacy night and volunteer to help at least once this summer. As writers’ we can help expand someone else. Literacy nights need a group to organize and carry out. Each person has something to offer.
Here is a link to plan a literacy night in your own home. Interesting!

I ask, what can you do to surprise yourself?


  1. What a great idea! And what a great doctor!

    I've always wanted to read Anna Karenina.

  2. I had a doctor's appointment today, too. I, like you, was surprised by my doctor but for a slightly different reason. I found out that she's always wanted to write stories. She has been a voracious reader since she was 3, and never lost that love. After she had children, she's been making up stories instead of just reading to them, stories she'd loved to have the time to write down.

    Books are wonderful!

    You asked what I can do to surprise myself? After 9 years of writing, I'm finally getting my dream come true--I found out today that Walnut Springs Press want to publish not just one, but two of my books--that surprised me!

  3. YAY Debra!!!!! That is AWESOME!!!! Congratulations. Great day!!

    Sorry for all the exclamations but I am REALLY excited for you!

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  5. Congrats Debra! And Leesa, great post. I've always wanted to read Anna Karenina too. I even have it somewhere, I think, packed in my boxes until we move into our new house. Maybe I'll have to find it at the library. Or on my kindle. Don't know if I can wait. :)

  6. Great post, Leesa! Thanks. I particularly liked the part where you said,
    "I also learned how a book connected us on a human level. This is important as we try to create a community and reach out with our words."
    Thanks for the link, too! Awesome! hugs~

  7. Jenny, yes read it. One version is free through kindle.

    Kari, you quoted me! I LOVE it.

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