On Friday, my family and I visited Long Beach Public Library’s main branch. While we visit our own branch often, it’s tiny by comparison. I thought—correctly!—my sons would be wowed by the main branch’s size, in space and number of books.
I checked out a couple of Raina Telgemeier graphic novels in Spanish. I read Ghosts on Saturday. I was so touched by it, I stopped by the bookstore on a Sunday to buy it in English. I wanted to share it with my family, both as someone who loves both Dia de los Muertos and someone whose physical life was cut short by Cystic Fibrosis.
The book is simply … breathtaking.
While at the bookstore, I looked at a copy of Telgemeier’s Sisters. A little girl nearby said. “You shouldn’t read that unless you’ve read Smile. It won’t make sense!” She added that they were so good, I should definitely read both.
I told her I had Smile at home, and just read another Telgemeier book.
”I love her!” the girl said. I replied that I was now extra excited to read Smile, and thanked her for her recommendation.
”You’re welcome!” she replied as I began walking away.
I smiled all the way to the cash register. While many perceive reading as a solitary activity, I see little ways—like this—every day that books connect me both to others and to the varied ways we experience this world.
The act of reading is solitary in some ways, but a bridge in so many others.