I suppose some of you clicked on the title hoping for a hot story?  Well, maybe you can find one where I’m about to send you: The Chapel Hill Public Library.

While we swelter or cope with tropical and copious rain or smile at a surprisingly cool morning, reading stays hot at the library with a cool (sorry!) summer reading program for kids, teens, and adults.  Each group has it’s own set of rules and you read independently and keep track of your hours online (for kids and teens) or submit reviews (adults).  

I believe a good book is its own reward but the library has sweetened the pot, coming up with the possibility of prizes along the way thanks to the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library and many local retailers.  And there’s a chance at one of three grand prizes:  The Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation (of which I am a member) has donated three Kindle Touch e-readers for one lucky participant from each age group.  The winner will be selected from a random drawing of readers who have reached his or her reading goals.  

If you’re concerned too much of the summer calendar has turned, no worries!  You can join and be eligible.  Just stop in the library, still at its temporary location in University Mall, or click here for more information.

Some of you regular readers may smile – or roll your eyes- at how I twist some of these columns into pretzels to fit within my topic of “savvy spending”.  Is there any resource as precious as time?  Are there many better ways to spend it than to lose yourself in a well-written story?  Or to learn something brand new?  Or to finally understand something that’s eluded you?  Or to see an idea from a new perspective? Or to put your troubles aside and escape into a fairy tale?  I submit there’s no asset so filled with riches as are books. 

Losing myself in a book has saved me from going nuts during long airport delays, nerve-wracking doctor’s office waits, and even from the tension of a less-than-peaceful home growing up.  But I am grateful to books not just for what they’ve taken me from but also for what they’ve given me.  I’ve learned about centuries I’ll never see, countries I may never get to visit, and sensibilities that wouldn’t have occurred to me.  My favorite gift from books is the characters I’ve met who are now part of my world and enrich it long after I’ve finished their stories.  

I’m so happy to see my son shares this love of reading and I know it will nourish him forever.  I’d love to take credit either through nature or nurture but, like many parents, I have J.K. Rowling to thank!

The love of reading is a gift I wish all of you.  If you need some prodding to dive in to this terrific world, check out the Chapel Hill Public Library’s Summer Reading Program.  Let me know if you do and what good books you find.  Leave a comment below or write to me at Donnabeth@Chapelboro.com