Monday, October 03, 2011

Women Who Love: Chris!

Today, y'all get to meet my mother-in-law!

She is the biggest reader I know and, coming from such a book nerd, that basically means that she's amazing and has read multiple books a week since the time Andrew was a wee one, if not before. Actually, I just made that statistic up but I'm going to assume it's true because, in a week's time, I've seen her breeze through five or six books without even blinking. I love it!

And so, here's my mother-in-law!

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Name: Chris Chandler

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Age: 49
Love: Reading

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How old were you when you started reading?
I've been reading as long as I can remember. Reading is my favorite type of entertainment, wherever I go I carry a book.

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What has reading taught you about the world around you?
When I was young, I loved books set in other parts of the world, reading about people on far-off continents who ate foods I couldn't pronounce, wore fascinating clothes and lived totally different lives. It was wonderful discovering the vast, diverse corners of the world, traveling and exploring, without ever leaving the comfort of my home.

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As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that the world is much smaller than I had once thought. As I read about different lands and different cultures, I find that people everywhere have so much in common. We have the same hopes, dreams, desires. We may wear different clothes or worship in different ways, but we all love our families and want the best for them. Reading about the challenges faced by others also helps me have gratitude for the blessings of the era and the land I live in. Things might have been simpler in another time, but I wouldn't trade my modern conveniences, or the freedoms that come from living in America.

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What is one of your favorite memories concerning reading?
Books are interwoven into every aspect of my life and most of my memories have books interwoven somewhere. Lots of long trips have been made even more enjoyable because of a good book. First, with me as a child tucked into the backseat with a good book. Later, reading aloud to my own children to help the travel hours pass faster. And now, choosing two or three good books to pass the time as I fly across oceans and continents.

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I loved buying multiple copies of the newest Harry Potter book the minute they each came out and my three boys and I devoured them in just a few hours and then each of us would go back during the next few days to reread it, savoring and discussing every chapter.

How often did you read to your children while they were growing up? Did reading aloud to them strengthen your relationship?
I love sharing books with my children. When they were in preschool and elementary school, after everyone was in bed and the lights were out, I would read a chapter each night from my favorite childhood books. We read about shipwrecks, little people, hidden gardens, shark attacks and benevolent spiders. I wanted my children to learn and love to read and know that through reading, they could find answers to most all the questions they would bump against. My children are grown now, buy we still love to read and still recommend books to each other.

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How has reading made a positive impact on the rest of your life?
The many things I've read throughout my life have contributed to who I am. When I was a new mother, I read many parenting books to help me navigate the adventure of raising children. Reading about people with great character traits has given me the desire and helped me to develop, in a small part, positive attributes. When I want to eat better or exercise more effectively, I inevitably find a book to help me in my quest. Reading scriptures has helped develop my relationship with God and strengthened my faith in Him. I love being a continually growing, changing person and reading plays an important part in my ongoing development.

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How has reading given you confidence?
I love knowing that I can find answers to just about any question. I can read about places to visit in Istanbul or how to make a perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies. As a youth, I explored the world through books and that has given me concepts and courage as an adult to actually explore the world that I continue to read about.

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In one sentence, what are your feelings about reading?
Reading is enlightening, enjoyable, and empowering!

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Thanks, Mama C.!

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