Taking Time to Read Before Books Go 'Into Thin Air'
Local Editor Lyssa Beyer hopes to join others in reading this year's book for the One Book One Community program in Port Washington and Saukville.
If there's one thing I wish I had more time to do, it's reading.
That might take some people by suprise, considering I spend my entire day surrounded by words, both coming in and leaving from my brainwaves.
But I'm not talking about reading news and e-mails: I'm talking about books. Books with fascinating stories — both true and fictional. I'm talking about cuddling up in a cozy corner with a cup of tea and losing myself in the adventure that was, is or will be.
With all that in mind, there's one particular book I've been wanting to read: "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer; it's a tale written from the journalist's perspective as he took on the quest of climbing Mt. Everest. By the time the group returned to the bottom, five lives had been lost and several more were injured or scarred with their own near-death tales.
This is the book that many people in the community are being invited to come together and read as part of the One Book One Community program.
One Book One Community is an offshoot of the national Character Counts program in which Port Washington, Saukville and the School District particpate. It aims to educate young people about ethics and bettering society through six tenets: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
I've never been in a book club, but something about the fact that the whole community is invited to this "club" takes the pressure off. I can pick and choose to go to the meetings or attend the related events. (One of those involves a presentation by Cedarburg native Eric Larsen, who made the climb to the top of Everest in October 2010.) Dates for book club meetings are scheduled at W.J. Niederkorn Library, Oscar Grady Library and the Feith Family YMCA.
But something about the fact that the whole community is invited to read this book puts the pressure of finding the time back on. It's that, "everybody else is doing it, and I want to, too."
The cool thing is, it's a positive type of peer pressure.
I guess the first step is finding the time to get my hands on the book. While the library has made known it will have several copies available, I'm the kind of person who likes to own what I read — something about creating a book collection to be proud of, but also a collection that will hopefully have a more productive fate than the container of VHS tapes sitting in my attic.
In any case, I'll likely some day need books around so that my grandkids will know what these crazy pages once looked like, just like my generation sought proof of record albums and typewriters.
Borders is closing several bookstores, including one in Fox Point (ironically, I've heard, as part of a push to amp up their electronic book marketing). Either way, I can't really pass up a discount, so time has told me it's about time to finally make the purchase.