Reading Recycled Books

Alice Ozma grew up poor but experienced untold riches when her father, an elementary-school librarian, read to her every night for over 3,000 consecutive nights. Her father built his home library mostly from books bought at yard sales and flea markets (as well as at the yearly book club sale at his school).

In her warmly told memoir, The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared, Ozma describes her father’s love of literature and his love of reading aloud to her and to his students, a habit made possible by his ability to purchase used books.

Her father’s love of literature inspired him to name his daughter after two favorite heroines, Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Ozma from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz series. His love of books led him to continue to share his library of used books by volunteering to read to older folks after he retired from his job as a school librarian.

In honor of National Library Week, we can all build a personal library of used books.

≈Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home design, crafts, and food,

and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home

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