From NPR, this may be one of the greatest "learning to love to read" stories I’ve ever read.
Olly Neal grew up in Arkansas during the 1950s. He didn’t care much for high school. One day during his senior year, he cut class — and wandered into the school library.
As he told his daughter, Karama, recently, he stumbled onto a book written by African-American author Frank Yerby. And the discovery changed the life of a teenage boy who was, in Neal’s memory, "a rather troubled high school senior."
There was just one problem: If Neal took the book to the checkout counter, he was sure that the girls who worked on the counter would tell his friends.
"Then my reputation would be down, because I was reading books," Neal said. "And I wanted them to know that all I could do was fight and cuss."
Finally, Neal decided that he ought to steal the book, in order to preserve his reputation. So he did.
A week or two later, Neal had finished the book — so he brought it back to the library, careful to replace it in the same spot he had found it.
"And when I put it back, there was another book by Frank Yerby," Neal said.
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