Gift of a good book

To watch a child discover the joy in reading is a gift in itself. That’s why there’s this message from the WAKE Up and Read Book Drive kicking off this weekend at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh: Give children’s books and bestow on yourself that joy, that knowledge that your book may be the one that makes a scholar, a grand citizen, a doctor, a scientist.

Homes where books line the walls – not necessarily just affluent homes – can be places of wonder for children. How many people, successful and content, can speak in detail decades later of the moment they discovered reading? A good book is a good friend. It doesn’t have to be a classic, though there’s a reason the classics are called so. It might be, for example, a book such as “Undaunted Courage” about the Lewis and Clark expedition. Or it could be a volume of poetry.

This drive helps children from low-income families who have few if any books of their own. It’s about giving those children something to read over the summer break. Needed are board books, early readers, Boxcar Children’s series books and other classics. The books will be distributed to 10 elementary schools, 20 child care centers and 10 community centers.

The good thing is, the drive has surpassed its goal – 110,000 books this year – every year. May it be so again.

To donate

Find more information, including maps of drop-off sites, at wakeupandread.org. The book drive kicks off Saturday at 2 p.m. at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh and will last through February.