Whit’s End: I read to learn
If you want to know, read.
That’s an attitude I embraced, instinctively, from the time I learned to sound out words. Books took me to places I only imagined, whether the land of wild things with Max or Disney World with the Baby-sitters Club.
As I’ve grown, I’ve also gained appreciation for the way books (and magazines and news articles) introduce me to people I wouldn’t otherwise know. They invite me into others’ experiences, and that can help me understand choices people make.
It also leaves me grateful for my comparatively easy life.
As I interviewed for this job last fall, I read “Glenwood Springs: A Quick History” by Jim Nelson. I picked up a copy from Book Train while vacationing in Glenwood. I suspected I’d someday spend more time here, and the book helped me understand the place I was considering moving to. Our area, in particular, is difficult to access but worth the effort.
This year out West has increased my curiosity about the history and people of this region. I’ve purchased four Terry Tempest Williams books, one of which immediately landed on my shelf of go-to reads. (I highly recommend “When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice.”) Edward Abbey’s “Desert Solitaire” accompanied me home from a visit to Back of Beyond Books in Moab, and I’ve checked out more books about the National Park Service than parks I’ve visited.
These are authors my Southern experience didn’t — and perhaps wouldn’t — introduce me to.
As I look forward to my second Colorado winter, I again turn to reading for information and inspiration. REI’s website is my go-to resource before I consult local retailers on gear purchases. (Seriously, the store’s expert advice articles are a great jumping off point, regardless of where you buy.)
And when I’m not putting that gear to use, I’ll read about the season. I’ve got Adam Gopnik’s “Winter: Five Windows on the Season” on order. This season, I’ll look to both books and experience for my ongoing education.
Carla Jean Whitley currently has 23 books checked out from the Garfield County Library District. Email her your book recommendations at email@example.com.