Books Matter: Jim Holmes

March is National Reading Month, a whole month designated to encouraging Americans – and by extension Wacoans – to read! The Act Locally Waco blog is beating the drum for National Reading Month by hosting a blog series throughout the month of March, called “Books Matter.” Every day throughout March we will be sharing a post about a Waco resident and a book that matters to him/her.  Thank you to students from the Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media and professor Amber Adamson for help with this fun project.  To read all the blog posts so far, click here

By Matthew Soderberg

“Cheerful in all weathers. Never shirked a task. Splendid behavior.” Those are the values Waco City Councilman Jim Holmes strives to live by — he’s even instructed his family to place the mantra on his gravestone.

The quote comes from Larry McMurtry’s novel Lonesome Dove, a Western story about a couple of ex-Texas Rangers on a cattle drive. The 62 year old said the book encompassed such a sense of adventure he just couldn’t help but relate.

“There can be adventure at any time in your life,” Holmes said. “That’s the first thing I picked up.”

The senior VP of First National Bank of Central Texas is a Nebraska farm boy at heart, and he said he began reading the sports page with his dad at the early age of six because that was all there was to do. He recalls reading comic books and baseball cards in his youth. He advises young readers to just follow their passions and let that lead them into other worlds.

“The more you read, the more you find out about things, regardless of where you read them,” Holmes said. “Read something that interests you. Start with … something that captures your interest and your creativity and your thought process.”

Now, the city councilman finds adventure jet skiing up the Mississippi River, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and running with the bulls in Spain. All the while, he still makes sure to keep a paperback with him wherever he may go.