Bookworm: Goodbye, Victoria: Keep on reading

July 30, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.

By the time you read this, my time at the Advocate as the photo/video editor and resident bookworm will have come to an end. I'll be driving toward the mountains of Utah to start my new job at the Standard-Examiner.

As a native Californian, I never thought I'd end up in Texas. Little did I know that I would move here, buy a pair of cowboy boots and cover some of the most interesting stories that I never could have imagined. But it wasn't just my time as a photographer here that really made an impression on me; my bookish adventures were some of the best memories I'll take with me when I go.

Visiting Ember Dooling's classroom at St. Joseph High School to listen to young, passionate readers discuss e-books.

Reading children's literature with Diego Cuellar, 7, and his sister, Ava Cuellar, 6, and Xavier Gapasin, 5, at the Victoria Public Library.

Attending all of the Friends of the Library book sales and trying to buy the many boxes of books I wanted before other people snatched them up (these sales have single handedly made my packing much more work but joyfully so.)

Relaxing on a sunshine filled afternoon with Jeanean Williams and her parrot, Sebastian, to discuss those once-in-lifetime moments when people discover all that books have to offer.

Stumbling upon the Milam Street Coffee Shop and Wall2Wall Words Used Books on a drive through Wharton and stopping for a coffee and chat with the owners.

And of course, getting a peek into the Novel Women book club and its delicious debates over books one afternoon here in Victoria.

I've seen a thirst for books in the schools I visit, in the libraries that hold summer reading programs and even just last week in Faith Family's Freedom School, where I watched children have as much fun dancing and singing as they did when it was time to hunker down for reading time.

My own weekly reading session with my mentee at Hopkins Elementary was a bright point in every Wednesday's schedule. Never sure what we'd be reading or what game we'd play, I always knew I'd get to spend a half hour encouraging her to love books as much as I do.

And of course, being able to write this column and share what I was reading, for better or worse, each week with co-workers, regular readers, Facebook friends and anyone who happened to pick up Get Out on a whim.

When I asked our readers on Facebook if they had a child who loved reading I could interview, the response was so overwhelming it took me a week to return every message and phone call. That one experience alone was so wonderful because it showed how many young readers we have growing up in the Crossroads and the pride their parents take in their achievements.

I have enjoyed every letter, email, card and phone call I've gotten about this column. I will always treasure the conversations I've had with fellow Crossroads bibliophiles while exploring subjects and books to write about.

Thank you for your time, your love of books and your generosity in sharing it all with me.

And of course, most of all, thank you for reading.

Kat Duncan is the former photo and video editor at the Advocate. She loves to read, travel, run and play with her pup, Panda. Chat with her about books on Twitter @Kat Duncan_VA.



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