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READ: "My name is Marti, and I am a bibliophile."

bibliophile, n. A lover of books; also, a book collector. God wired me as a word-person. Almost as soon as I could read, I could write, too. If you took a peek at my old school record books, you’d see “authoress” carefully printed to fill in the “What I want to be when I grow up” blank. That’s why I marvel at the direction my career has taken. I’m not exactly an “authoress” (so far, my name only appears on the cover of one of my book projects). Still, I can’t believe my profession allows me to interact with words and shape messages into a publishable form. And the idea that God uses those words to make a difference? Incredible! I tell people that the main reason I can write well is because I can read well. I belong to an online writers’ group, and occasionally members (all professionals in various fields of writing or publishing) post that they “don’t read” or “don’t find time to read.” I can’t imagine that. I’ve been a confirmed bibliophile since my preschool days. Even when I don’t have spare time, I find time to read. My husband should probably write this post because he has many funny memories of my obsession with books. I remember my mother warning me not to read as I came down the stairs. I don’t do that anymore, but I have been known to read while washing dishes; cooking (don’t ask about the library book I had to buy because I accidentally set it down on a hot stovetop); cleaning (so the dusting takes a little longer—no big deal); or taking a shower (I propped the book on the towel rack at one end of the tub). I read while I iron. I read while I bake (I’ve finally learned not to read as I measure ingredients, especially if I’m doubling or tripling a recipe). I read while I dry my hair. I no longer read while I ride in the car (I prefer life without nausea) and certainly not while I drive (I once saw someone do this on I-5 in San Diego. Scary!). I’m still in the hands-on mothering business (my youngest child is thirteen) and am blessed to have raised a family of readers. I’ve watched my son walk out the door of the library, book in hand, oblivious to those around him. I’ve tried to catch my daughter’s attention while she’s lost in a book. In fact, I can’t count the number of times I’ve found one daughter (who shall remain nameless) reading instead of working on her math assignment, reading instead of finishing her history report, reading instead of—well, almost anything. I...

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