It just kills me when one of my students tells me that he doesn’t like to read. Not just because reading is, you know, more educational and also more dignified than playing XBox 360 or noodling around on your iPad (seriously, what parents give nine year olds iPads???) but because reading is everything. I am here living in Russia because of books I read! Reading literature actually made me move here! I am making decisions about what I will do with my future based on books I’ve read and the person they made me into. The way I live, love, speak and feel– I owe so much of it to books and to the poetry I read in college and which helped me grow up in a way… I would be just nothing without books. So I want to say that books have been a force in my life, pushing me to change and to go places and undertake things. It just especially hits home here where lots of people ask about why I came to Russia, and it started with reading Russian books… so for kids who don’t like reading I can only envision a rather bleak and monotonous future.