On a slow afternoon at the circulation desk a few weeks ago, a teacher spotted me with a book and asked if I was reading for a class. “Just for fun,” I answered without thinking, and she smiled. “I’m so envious. I wish I had the time to read like that!”

I just couldn’t get this interaction out of my head. At first I thought it was the implication that independent reading time is some kind of luxury, something librarians have and classroom teachers want. You know, because teachers have real jobs, and I sit around reading all day.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was my end of the conversation that was bothering me. Just for fun? Was that really why I was reading a book about the history of American intervention in Afghanistan?

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