Mrs. John Marsh : The World Knew Her As Margaret Mitchell

“What Reading Means To Me”

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Three years ago, southern novelist Terry Kay (Amazon) shared these words with the audience at the Savannah Book Festival. In honor of the first day of festivities surrounding the 75th anniversary of Gone With The Wind, we’re re-printing them here:

While reading, I have been –
– A cowboy (and an Indian) with Zane Grey
– A Confederate soldier with Joseph Pennell
– A pirate with Robert Louis Stevenson
–An orphan with Charles Dickens
–An eccentric with Flannery O’Conner
–A dust-bowl traveler with John Steinbeck

While reading, I have been –
–A whaler with Herman Medville
–A gold-dreamer with Erskine Caldwell
–A small-town barber with Wendell Berry
–A runaway with Mark Twain
–An old-time gospel god with James Weldon Johnson

While reading, I have been –
–A b-flat coronet player with William Price Fox
–A battler of windmills with Miguel de Cervantes
–An attendant in the House of Gentle Men with Kathy Hepinstall
–A basketball player with Pat Conroy, a fire-fighter with Larry Brown, a defense attorney with John Grisham.

While reading, I have touched the ocean’s darkest depths and walked on planets in solar systems beyond our seeing… I have climbed mountains lost in clouds… I have flown with Lindbergh and John Glenn, stood at Gettysburg with Lincoln and in Montgomery with Martin Luther King, Jr. While reading, I was at Dachau on the day of liberation.

While reading, I have sat at the feet of Abraham and Moses and Jesus and Muhammad and Buddha, and all the other men of God, and also those who would kill God — the insane, the madmen, the bigoted, the fanatics.

While reading, I have been boy and man, girl and woman. I have been young and old. I have died and have been re-born. While reading, I have become people I cannot be, doing things I cannot do. And I do not know of any other experience that could have given me such a life.

From SavannahNow, Feb 4, 2008

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