I found out one year ago this week that Furman University Librarian and Podcaster Jenny Colvin passed away at age 43.  I wrote a post last year when it happened.  It was a complete shock because we had corresponded a week before she passed away about recording my third appearance on the Reading Envy Podcast that would be aired last August.

That podcast was going to be featured around my reading of Guy Gavriel Kay’s latest novel, All The Seas of the World. Jenny had never read Kay’s work yet. We were going to discuss why Kay is a great fantasy novelist and one of the best writing today. Unfortunately, that podcast will never happen.

I believed she would have been open-minded to trying Kay’s novel and write one of her thoughtful reviews on Goodreads about it.  Goodreads was where I first connected with Jenny and after appearing on her podcast in December 2019, I knew I had met online a reading kindred spirit.

Jenny was a voracious, curious reader and in the time I got to know her online lived by two reading adages I believe in:

1) Reading is the cheapest and easiest passport you can get to another world

2) Reading is the best entry point in learning how to love your neighbor

I wrote this first adage in the introduction to my book, Marion’s 25 Volume II.  Reading is the easiest passport a reader can get to another world without ever having to leave your home.  Jenny promoted reading around the world on her podcast and blog, and we shared that in common.  The world is a big place and reading is the best highway to travel on in exploring it.

The second adage is taken from Jesus’s command from Matthew 22, Verse 39 from the New Testament, where he was asked about which are the greatest commandments in the law to follow. You don’t have to be religious to take Jesus’ answer to love your neighbor to heart.  I can apply that commandment to reading and state it is the best entry point to do just that. I would add in this polarized society, we all need to make a better effort in wanting to love our neighbor.

Reading is not just about whether a book is good or bad. It is an opportunity to connect with someone different, stimulate the imagination and satisfy our curiosity. Jenny understood that and pursued it through what she read. I definitely connected with her on that level and I hope other online bloggers and podcasters will follow in her footsteps.

In closing, I want to write that I was glad to make an online connection with Jenny and I have felt her loss like someone that I had known growing up in my hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. Her absence is felt, but her legacy will always be remembered by authors and readers. Rest in Story, Jenny Colvin.


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