What I recall, is that in the summer I sat in bed reading a book. I'd gotten the book at the Urbandale Public Library--Mother was a big reader and I'd gone with her to the library and randomly looked around in the Young Adult section and picked out books. I had this novel that was set in Russia and was about Cossacks and Tartars and such and I was very involved in it. And I was reading it one lazy summer afternoon by the window in my bed, the window wide open against the hot Iowa day and outside in the street kids were playing. I knew the kids that were yelling and running and scuffling through some game out there, and as I heard them and watched them I thought that I should join them. I was an active person, I liked games and sports and running around. Yet, I really liked the book I was reading.
It was a warm summer Iowa afternoon yet I was inside reading by the open window. I should be out there with my neighborhood peers . . . But, no. I wanted to read my book. I loved reading that book. So, I stayed inside, consciously relishing the air from the window, the sounds of kids playing in my absence while I read my library book set in the old Russia of cossacks and czars. I realized that I liked the excitement in my head--from the book--as much as the excitement of reality, at least for that moment. The world of my imagination was more important.
It's not as though I became a bookworm from then on, but I think I still remember that otherwise mundane instance because I realized that I had something else, something small (or big, depending how you feel about books) and private and that there was a value in pursuing it. I'd always liked reading, writing, but until that day by the window in the summer I don't think I realized how much it meant to me.