Photo by Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images


What's the latest book you read?  Who's your favorite author?  Best book ever?  I'm sure those will be a few of the conversations you'll overhear at this year's Festival of Books.  Over 70 authors from all over the country are in Sioux Falls this weekend taking part and sharing their stories.


After interviewing organizers on the radio about this year's festival, it got me thinking about how reading and radio are similar in so many ways.  First and foremost, both revolve around "theatre of the mind."


In this day in age of getting everything instantaneously over the Internet and watching events unfold as they happen, reading (and radio to a certain extent) affords you the opportunity to leave the real world and sneak off to that faraway place - at least in your mind.


When I go out to area schools and visit with kids about radio, I always make it a point to talk about how radio is unique and unlike any other medium out there.  Every person has a different idea and picture in their mind while they're listening.


It's the same thing with reading.  If I were to give 10 kids the same book to read and then ask them to draw a picture of what the story was about, I would probably get 10 different pictures.  Everyone's "mind picture" is different.


My hope is that you have a chance to take in the "Festival of Books" this weekend and reacquaint yourself with the joy of reading.  Sneak off to that magical place in your mind and escape the problems and concerns of everyday life.


We're heading into a time of the year when curling up in front of the fireplace with a good book will be commonplace for many on the weekends.  That's one of my favorite parts of winter; it forces me to stay inside and read more.


And when your eyes start to dry and you need to take a break - turn on the radio and enter a whole new magical world.