I Hope For More Stories (Sydney Salter)

I hope to read dozens of books in 2023--across all genres and all sort of topics. I expect to feel all the emotions. I'm excited to learn new things about people and the world. The books will change me in ways I cannot anticipate now. Maybe I'll see something in an entirely new way. Maybe I'll change my mind about something.

Not one single book will change my biology. 

That's what I told my congressman's office when I phoned this week, once again, to protest book banning. A book can make someone feel less alone in the world, but it won't change someone's essential physical facts. Books simply cannot change us that much. 

I hope the nonsense of book banning ends in 2023. That's probably naive of me. A vocal minority of people are angry and scared about the changes that have already happened in our culture. Just the other day in the grocery store checkout line, a conversation sparked by my Mickey Mouse sweatshirt morphed into one about cultural change. The older woman told me with bitterness that children used to be safe. I pushed back, "I think we just didn't talk about things as much." She angrily told me that cultures change. I let it go. But all day I thought about the people I know in their 70s and 80s who did not experience a safe childhood. I get it. Talking about things can feel scary.

Books talk about things. All the things. 

That makes books dangerous to people who don't want to know things. People who don't want to feel all the emotions. People who don't want to change. That's why it's really important for writers to continue telling all the stories. Every human experience matters. That's my biggest hope for 2023: more people will tell more stories. 

Storytelling is essential. 

A tiny sampling of my TBR hoard.


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