Freedom to Read

While waiting for my car to be fixed one rainy Saturday, I walked into a local bookstore. The car mechanic had told me my wait would be long and the bill high. I picked up a book and sat down to read, looking for a refuge from the pain.

Before long I looked up to find a grandmother, trailed by a nanny with a baby, telling an intelligent looking six-year-old child, “Sit right here and read.” The girl sat down across the table from me and immediately plunged into reading her book. Every few minutes the nanny returned with more books, which the six-year-old, politely turned down. On the third try, the nanny’s face turned angry. “What’s wrong with these books?” the nanny asked, pushing a pile of books toward the child. The child pulled her body into an angry little ball and buried her face all the more defensively in her book.

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