Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin

No pressure. No noble goal to read 101 books in 12 months. No guilt. Just read.

In 2021, a Pew Research Center survey found that 77 percent of Americans read a book (includes audiobooks). Wow. Can you hear those brain cells firing and wiring?

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, print book sales had their best year in a decade, according to NPD BookScan. Ebook sales increased and downloads of audiobooks increased, according to the Association of American Publishers.

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” - C.S. Lewis

Find a secret closet away from the kids, the dog, and the spouse. Relax and read. Beware, if it’s a laugh-out-loud story, the children will locate you. No cookies and milk – the dog will sniff out snacks and whimper by the door. Pretend you’re not home.

Make a commitment to celebrate annual days and months about reading this year.

January 23 is National Reading Day. This is an annual event aimed to encourage younger readers to love reading. Aimed at Pre- K through to 3rd Grade, this national awareness day is celebrated in thousands of U.S. schools.

February 2 is World Read Aloud Day. Use your voice to animate story characters when you read to children.

Read Across America Day for the year 2022 is observed on Wednesday, March 2. The day was established by the National Education Association (NEA) in 1998 to help get kids excited about reading.

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” - Jorge Luis Borges

School Library Month (April) is the American Association of School Librarians' celebration of school librarians and school libraries. Every April school librarians are encouraged to host activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school libraries play in transforming learning.

The theme for National Library Week (April 3 to 9) is "Connect with Your Library." Celebrate local libraries and their workers.

National Library Outreach Day (formally National Bookmobile Day) celebrates library outreach and the dedicated library professionals on Wednesday during National Library Week.

D.E.A.R. stands for "Drop Everything and Read," a national month-long (April) celebration of reading designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives.

“A book--the book that was, for some reason, THE book -- can be reread, unchanged. Only we have changed. And that makes all the difference.” ― Anna Quindlen, “How Reading Changed My Life”

World Book Day, April 23, celebrates authors, books, illustrators and - of course - reading.

Children's Day/Book Day is a celebration of children, families, and reading and held annually on April 30.

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Launched by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, National Poetry Month (in April) reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters.

National Read a Book Day on Sept. 6 calls all book lovers to indulge in their favorite hobby.

Picture Book Month (November) is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book in an increasingly digital age.

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world.

Founded on Oct. 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” Visit www.ala.org.

“Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.” - Lena Dunham

Ohio Libraries

The State Library of Ohio, Ohioana Library Association and Ohio Center for the Book encourage Ohioans of all ages to read and enjoy books together.

The largest library in Ohio is the Main Library of the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) system is located in Columbus, Ohio. It holds approximately 300,000 volumes. Visit www.columbuslibrary.org.

The Ohio Digital Library is a program of the State Library of Ohio and is supported in whole or in part by federal Institute of Museum and Library Services funds, awarded to the State Library of Ohio. Visit www.ohdbks.overdrive.com.

People who are registered users at OhioLINK libraries, and those with a library account at one of the SearchOhio (link sends e-mail) libraries, have access to a virtual statewide library. www.ohiolink.edu.

The Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar provides young children and their caring adults a song, video, activities, and book suggestions for every day of the year. Each day, visitors to DayByDayOH.org will see a new set of activities.

BookFlix is available for free to Ohio children and families through INFOhio, Ohio's PreK-12th grade digital library.

My resolution for 2022 is to read more books. My next resolution is not to buy more books before I’ve read the books I’ve already bought. My third resolution is to check out books from the library to save money.

“Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.” - Arnold Lobel

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an opinion-editorial columnist and a resident of Ohio.

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