The Next Chapter

By: Holly Lynn

I grew up on a farm and for me, reading will always be a guilty pleasure. There was always work to do. We had horses, cows, an orchard and a big garden. We all had to weed the garden, mow the lawn and feed the horses. I would sneak off with a book and hide behind a tree and read and read. I was often told to put that book down and do something. Sometimes I wasn’t discovered and could read for hours. My family was athletic and competitive. Horseback riding and track and field were the main ways that they competed. I was always content reading, writing poetry and baking.


Because it is a guilty pleasure, I believe I enjoy it more. I always had a way of tuning out the world and living inside the book. When I was in elementary school, I read “The Little House” series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was so disappointed when the series ended that I couldn’t bear it. So, I started with book one and read it all over again. There were other series, but my childhood favorite author was Laura Ingalls Wilder.


Needless to say, I thought my children had it made with an unlimited supply of books. I was often checking books out for them and just leaving them out around the house. It never worked out the way I thought it would. Most books went back unread. So, I did a funny thing. I stopped pushing books and reading. Ironically, my daughter discovered some of the books I loved. She loved “James and the Giant Peach” and other Roald Dahl books as much as I did, but she discovered them herself.


Today, we reward children for reading. In the children’s department at Ritter, we have more than 30 prize jars on display. For every 3 hours of reading, a ticket is awarded. At the end of July, we will draw names and the winners get to take home a jar. Some have candy or Romp’s tokens and others have dolls and race cars. If you want to encourage the little readers in your life, bring them in and sign them up. I would recommend just letting them discover the joy of reading on their own.


The Vermilion Photojournal is pleased to bring readers a column by Ritter Public Library Director Holly Lynn. She will give some insight into one of the most popular places to visit in Vermilion, the library, as well as the value of books and new adventures. Lynn can be contacted at:


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