Tag Archives: tolkien

My Love of Reading, My Secret Desire to Serve Time, and How Readers Can Change the World

For me, reading is as good as it gets.  For as long as I can remember I’ve had an attraction to books that is hard to describe.

I remember how badly I wanted to check out a real book – one with no pictures at all – from my elementary school library, and how the librarian sat me down and asked me to read the first paragraph.  After I stumbled through the first sentence, she politely sent me back to the picture books.

In the fifth grade I desperately wanted to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s Return of the King.  I just knew those pages were filled with magic, but I still couldn’t make it through the first few pages.  And as I realized many years later, Return of the King is actually the last book in the trilogy!  My love of reading was years ahead of my ability to comprehend.

The first “real” book that I read to completion was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  I raced through it without blinking, and I was hooked for life.

Ever since then I’ve been a hardcore reader, the kind of person who doesn’t even go to the doctor’s office without something interesting to read.  Each new phase of my life has begun with a visit to the library, bookstore, or more recently, Amazon.  Learning to sail, landing an internship, getting a job, starting my first business… I learned it all from reading.

My love of reading sometimes hits ridiculous extremes: When watching the news and hearing about so-and-so’s life sentence to prison I perversely think “Lucky bastard. Now you can spend all day just reading.”  And while prison probably doesn’t actually work that way, in the back of my mind it sounds pretty awesome.

Quite separately, my love of reading has blessed me to the point that I recently founded a philanthropic brand called GoneReading™.  The first lifestyle brand of apparel and gifts for those who love to read, GoneReading™ donates 100% of after-tax profits to fund library and literacy projects in the developing world.  Readers, just like reading itself, can make a tremendous difference in people’s lives.

And so my love of reading continues.  Right now I’m spending quite a bit of time at the local library researching my plan for GoneReading™ to, ironically, build libraries around the world.  As you might imagine, I’ve got a lot of reading to do.

If you love to read, and if my story sounds at all familiar, then please follow along and get involved with the GoneReading™ story.  By doing so I think you will find that your own love of reading can truly help change the world.

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