Vogt's Notes: Experience the joy of reading — no matter what the season

And do your part to develop a love of reading in kids

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Around this time of year, Minnesotans are tired of the snow and cold. Bring on spring, we say.

I found something fun to celebrate in both February and March — reading.

February is “I Love to Read Month.” All 28 days are dedicated to promoting a love of reading and being read to.

March is National Reading Month.

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Theodor Seuss Geisel, that popular American children's author and cartoonist, was born March 2, 1904. Many schools celebrate his birthday with some sort of Dr. Seuss day centered around reading.


Pine River-Backus School did just that one recent Friday in March. I brought my 3½ year old granddaughter to the event so I could take photos for the Echo Journal.

We weren’t prepared for the cars that spilled out of the school parking lots to line both sides of the narrow street outside the school.

What else is going on? I wondered.

We soon found out parents, grandparents and more filled the school for the Dr. Seuss Read-In. Students and adults sported tall Cat in the Hat hats of different colors as The Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2 wandered the hallways.

It was so cool to see all the reading going on in the halls, library and gym.

That weekend, my son-in-law read “Green Eggs and Ham” and my daughter read “Go, Dog, Go!” — both by Dr. Seuss — to my granddaughter. She was enraptured — she loves books — and after both books were finished, she paged through “Go, Dog, Go!” reading it aloud herself.

What an awesome sight!

Her parents read to her every night, and I hope she keeps and further develops a love of reading into adulthood.


I remember coming home from the hospital with Dr. Seuss’s “The Foot Book” after the birth of both my daughters. I still have a copy. I read to them every night — even if I read the same book night after night.

They didn’t develop into avid readers right away, but today as adults, I’m proud to say they read a lot. My mom, daughter and I have swapped quite a few books this winter.

Reading is a lifelong sport. I’ve found that I sleep so much better when I turn off the TV, put the cellphone away and read a few chapters of a book before bed.

I love the temporary escape into another world. And the best part is, after you finish a good book, there are endless more to reach for.

One of the best Christmas presents I received was a $50 gift card to Target. Rather than use it to buy toilet paper, Kleenex, milk and other necessities, I decided to use it all on books. I was able to buy three books that kept me and others entertained.

And don’t forget you’ll find an endless supply of books at your local libraries for free, or the inexpensive price of a library card.

Not sure what to read? I encourage you to read a column in the Brainerd Dispatch every Wednesday titled “Bourke’s Bookshelf,” written by Theresa Bourke (who, I proudly claim, got her start as a journalist at the Echo Journal).

I have a long list of books I’d love to dive into after reading her reviews of them.


As winter turns into spring, and then summer and fall, I encourage you to enjoy a good book through all the seasons — whether curled up under a cozy blanket inside during winter or outside on a warm summer day.

Happy reading!

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt - Vogt's Notes.jpg
Nancy Vogt, PineandLakes Echo Journal Editor

Opinion by Nancy Vogt
Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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