Read! Read! Read!

Published 5:16 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2020

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You might recall that just last week we asked for our online poll: How often do you visit the library?

In an early response, 17 percent said, ‘Once a week or more.’ Thirty-three percent stated, ‘Every few months,’ and 50 percent (!) said, “Library? We have one of those?” Later in the week, the percentages went up a bit for the first two questions, and slightly down for the third.

True, we phrased the answers as such, so perhaps we also set ourselves up for a higher percentage on the last question. We’ll try not to read too much into it or get discouraged.

Instead, this is an ideal time to inform or remind city and county residents that they are quite fortunate to have two libraries within an easy drive — perhaps even a short walk for many. Western Tidewater is home to the Blackwater Regional Library, whose network extends further up into Sussex, Surry and Isle of Wight counties.

Each branch is dedicated to not only housing books, newspapers and magazines, but has also become a community center of sorts where adults, teens and children are welcomed to speak above a whisper. In addition to checking out printed and audio books, they people can participate in regular and numerous activities and events, most of which incorporate reading one form or another. Story time and PAWS to Read immediately come to mind as major examples.

As we’ve noted even just last year for Read Across America Day — which was on Monday — the occasion to read — especially to a child — should not be limited to only 24 hours or even seven days in the week. Reading should be a daily practice done every day of every year for the rest of your life. It’s one of the best habits to develop.

To learn more and find the library closest to you, please visit