DEBORAH CROMBIE: We've been talking about the unexpected delights books have given us, the worlds opened and explored through the printed page. As readers, we take the accessibility of this world for granted--for most of us our slogan is "Too many books, not enough time."
But what if those worlds lay behind a closed door, and no one gave us the key?
What if you not only couldn't read a book, but couldn't read signs, fill out forms, or decipher labels in the supermarket? Life for those who can't read is more than limited--it may seem impossible to navigate.
Weekend before last, I was honored to participate in a fundraiser for adult literacy, the Buns and Roses Romance Tea, the proceeds of which benefit the Richardson Adult Literacy Center and the literacy programs of the Richardson Public Library. (The "buns", by the way, are scones. But as most of the attending authors write romance, feel free to interpret more liberally.)
This wasn't the first time over the years that I've been involved in literacy fundraisers, but this event struck a particular chord. This was my hometown library, the library where as a child I made weekly trips with my grandmother and was allowed to check out as many books as I could carry. Without those books, my life would be unimaginably different.
The speakers, especially keynote speaker Sarah MacLean, told moving stories about what the written word meant to them. We wore hats, drank tea, and bought books. (Here I am with the lovely ladies of a book club who bought my table.) And at the end of the day, we raised a good deal of money which I hope will open a door or two for someone else.
The grand raffle prize was a week in a fabulous sounding Scottish cottage called Corrydon Lodge. I didn't win. I have high hopes for next year. It sleeps ten, so all my best friends better raise their hands now.