Growing up in Philadelphia I loved to see the mural on the back side of a building on Vine Street near the main Free Library building. It depicts a sitting girl engrossed in a book wide open in front of her. Behind her is a brightly colored world of fantastic creatures and unfurling plants lit by a beam of sunlight. The mural, sponsored by the Philadelphia Reads program, is called “Secret Book,” apparently a reference to a line from Shakespeare’s King Henry IV, “And now I will unclasp a secret book.”

Reading, perhaps a dying art in the world of video, has been for me a way to travel to places I will never go and enter the minds of people I will never know. Nothing has added so much richness to my life as reading. For me, reading begins with a sense of wonder and ends with a feeling of awe.