Treasures on the Shelves: Imagination is a good starting point

Published 11:18 am Friday, March 29, 2024

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I came across an old favorite recently. It is a book by Albert Payson Terhune. The title is “Lad: A Dog”. He wrote a bunch of books about dogs. I loved them. Of course, I am a dog person. If it had been a book about ‘Fluffy: A Cat’, I never would have checked it out of the school library. Who wants to read about a cat? (I will probably catch grief over that comment!)

I did love to read as a youngster. We didn’t have home computers and video game systems. There were no cell phones and we only had three television channels. We played outside and rode many miles on our bicycles. Little league baseball was only for a month or so during the year and soccer wasn’t a thing yet, in our town. 

Does all of that sound boring? Kids today probably think so. But, it wasn’t. We used our imaginations and filled our time with friends and fun activities. Reading was a big part of that. Through books we could learn about new things to do, new places to go. We could make new friends, like Lad, the dog or the Hardy boys or Nancy Drew.

Sure, they were just characters in a book. But that doesn’t make them any less real than an image on a computer screen, a visual created by someone else.

We sponsor the Dolly Parton Imagination library for preschool kids. The key word there is ‘Imagination’. It is important that our children don’t lose their ability to imagine. Reading feeds this part of our person. Without imagination, possibilities and questions may go unfound and unanswered. If everything is spoon fed to people, they may not stretch themselves to be what they were meant to be.

Our imaginations are a starting point for new discoveries and adventures. Let’s encourage our kids to read and feed their imaginations.

Be good!

J.B. Crenshaw is the library director for Lunenburg County Public Library System. He can be reached at