Kim K has been one of Books for Keeps’ most faithful book sorters this year, and attended almost every elementary school book distribution. In fact, I had to force her to take a day of rest. Here is her Books for Keeps story, in her own words.

Reading has always been a big part of my life, from the earliest days when my mom read to me. I still read every night before I go to bed, sometimes staying up late to finish a good story. What a joy I’d have missed out on if I’d not been exposed to reading at an early age!

I’m a scientist. I like facts, and here’s one: continual exposure to books and reading during summer helps kids stay at the top of their game. It’s why I started volunteering with Books for Keeps; they’re working to eliminate barriers standing in the way of every child’s access to books.

Helping sort books this past year was rewarding; I even find it relaxing.

Book distributions, however, are FUN! Over the last few days I was fortunate enough to volunteer at distributions at all three elementary schools. I learned firsthand what these kids WANT to read, what they are genuinely excited about, enough to make them drop video games or other distractions to exercise their minds.

Books about sports, princesses, fairies, sharks, Junie B. Jones, and Captain Underpants… the kids knew what they wanted, and I felt like a rock star every time I helped a child find just the right book.

My favorite highlights?

– A Fowler student yelling “thanks for the books!” from the window of her school bus while holding up her bag of books

– Three Stroud friends telling me their plans to pool their books to start their own library; they’d already figured out that with 12 books each, they had a combined 36 books to read this summer

– The young Alps girl who hugged me after I helped her find some American Girl books

– Learning on day two at Alps about a girl who stayed up all night reading – and finishing- some of her new books

My volunteer book sorting efforts will have new meaning now. The books are precious to these children, and selection means everything.

Long live the power of a good book. And long live Books for Keeps.