Though we read books about pioneer life, we can only imagine what it must have been like. Especially in rural areas where much of the day folks rose before daybreak to do chores so they could feed themselves. Their days were filled doing things that needed to be done in order to survive. Those days were physically strenuous, and must have ended early.

Before electricity, there were only candles and firelight to brighten their short evenings. Yet, they found time to read … and the language in them was complex. Children often went to school fewer years, and were released from classes to help with the harvest. Many attended one-room schoolhouses with children of different ages. The older children were expected to help with the younger ones. Their teachers often had little more schooling than them, and supplies were quite limited. Yet children found time to read as well.

Looking back, we call those times of simple living. But those early settlers had precious little time to themselves. Especially for girls and women there was constant work to be done to keep a household. The days were tiring, and nothing was convenient.

Over the years since the country was born, many conveniences have been invented or developed. We should have a lot of time to do as we please. But we also have many distractions. Our forbearers didn’t have to be concerned with filing taxes. They didn’t spend hours on the phone trying to sort out problems with their computers. Few of them found it necessary to commute to work through frustrating traffic. There were no televisions to distract them, and not even radio shows to crowd around and listen. There were no schedules of evening sports events to attend, nor endless trips to participate in the variety of lessons children today do. No phones to glance at every few seconds to see if someone has communicated with us.

Our lives can certainly not be considered simple. Yet, hopefully, we can find time to read. We can choose to turn off the TV, ignore the computer, turn on a light and sit quietly to read. We can choose to read any number of books those pioneers didn’t have available to them. Over 600,000 new books are published each year. Many are available electronically, and can be carried on a tablet or even a phone. We can read anywhere we choose, whether flying through the air, or sitting in a waiting room at the doctor’s office. We can take an e-reader on vacation. We can even read in the bathtub, provided we don’t fall asleep and drop the book in the water.

Reading is one of the joys of life, and many find they cannot get through a day without something to read. If bad weather is imminent, we stock up on reading materials and hope the electricity doesn’t go out. If it does, we’re content to cuddle under a pile of blankets and read by the light of a window. Reading is the best way to travel without even moving. A good book can distract us from the troubles of the world. It can entertain us, keep us company, and teach us about other lands and peoples. It can educate us about the past, and advise us about our futures.

Consider letting the gift of time to read into your life. You will be enriched in so many ways. Visit us soon to discover the multitude of choices in your library.