When I was younger, I used to love picking up Reader's Digest. Now, you might say, "Of course you did...you're a librarian!", but if you've read any of my earlier posts, you would know that I didn't plan to be a librarian when I was younger. I just happened upon it, like a good book. (hehehehe) Now, I DID like the stories that could be found in each edition, and I do love to read. However, the thing I got really geeky about in each Reader's Digest was....wait for it....
Yes, I would race to the page where there would be a listing of words with 3 possible definitions, or meanings, of each word. I loved this, because it was a test of my knowledge. Was I smarter than the editors of Reader's Digest? Could I guess the meaning of words I was unfamiliar with by comparing the unknown word with other words that sounded similar? How high could I score? It was always a head rush to beat the page!!
I know, I know...signs of future librarian job skills, and I didn't even recognize it!!! LOL
At the same time, I would also try very hard to get to the Living section of our newspaper, because I LOVED doing the crossword puzzle. It was important to get to it as quickly as possible, because I was in fact racing my mother to get to fill it in. It was a dance we danced...who could get there first, could she finish it, and if not, could I?
There is a lot of power in words, and in knowing what words mean. I often tell people who use certain words that they really need to make sure they understand the meaning of the word before they make use of it. We all are guilty of using words whose definition we have little knowledge about. I still find that I pull out the Reader's Digest, and the Living crossword puzzle to this day, because I am just fascinated by words and their meaning. In that same tradition, I have begun placing crossword puzzles on a white board in my Library Media Center for anyone who might be interested in it to solve. So, go ahead, come on by, and explore the power of words!
Jill D. Ray
As Big Al would say, The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.