Column: Every season should be reading season

We like our lives to be orderly, even our recreation.

So, we squeeze things into seasons.

We now are in baseball season. In a few moths we will be in football season.

And don’t forget the season to be jolly (fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la).

Someone, somewhere, at some time decided that Memorial Day ushers in the reading season.

Magazines, newspapers and even television news has started recommending books for summer reading.

I’ve never understood the setting aside of one time of the year as a time for reading. To me, reading is, and always has been and will be, a year-around necessity, like eating and breathing.

Many of the books I see recommended for summer reading seem to mirror summer as the vacation and recreation season. No Kant or Henry James on those lists.

Sun and sand are recommended accompaniments to reading in the summer. In other seasons, the reasoning seems to be, we are too busy, too cold to spend much time reading.

I wish all seasons were reading seasons. Reading not only is a pleasurable experience, it is didactic. Reading makes us more thoughtful, more empathetic, more tolerant of others and of other views and opinions.

We residents of Oak Park are fortunate in having a library (and two branch libraries) that are engaged all year in promoting reading and the values to be gained from the written word. There always is a lecture, a discussion group, various programs on offer at the library.

The Oak Park Public Library has taken steps to make it more welcoming to Oak Parkers.

As of June 1, the library no longer imposes fines for overdue books and materials.

“Overdue fines are a regressive method of raising revenue,” said David J. Seleb, the library’s executive director. “They hurt the most those who can afford them the least, create stress-filled interactions and require significant amounts of staff time to manage.”

The staff at the Oak Park Public Library offers a great service, does…

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