Category Archives: Reading is FUNdamental
I’m reading The Whisperer by John Grisham.
As usual, it grabs me on the first page and then I spent the new few days trying to get SOMETHING done besides reading it. I love falling into a world totally unlike mine with complex, engaging characters dealing with something compelling. If you need anything today, I’ll be sitting in my chair, coffee on the table on my warmer, reading. :0)
Our lives have been fairly stressful lately with lots of challenges and changes. The result of all this effort is that our lives are improving, slowly but surely, but I’m finding I need to escape awhile each day to maintain what is left of my sanity.
I’m enjoying the last in the series “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” by Anne Brashares right now. I can dive into the books, losing myself in the process, cares falling away like leaves in the fall. I emerge – reluctantly – when I need to – feeling refreshed. I wish that everyone could enjoy the act of reading for enjoyment.
After I finished school – getting my Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist – I couldn’t. I would pick something up, unconsciously tensing up, reading as though I would be tested on whatever I was reading later, mentally taking notes to be regurgitated whenever asked. I almost lost my love of reading because of years of reading what I HAD to read. Kind of an indictment of the school system, isn’t it?
I regained some of that joy when I began teaching. I loved sharing my joy with my students, many of whom had such frightening lives daily on the north side of Tulsa, Oklahoma, that they didn’t have any interest at first. I taught them phonics by singing a stupid song and playing my guitar. They loved the singing and the movement, and learned that letters make sounds, working together to make short words, and then combining to make longer ones. Once the magic of the printed word on the page made sense, the ‘light bulb moment’ showed in their bright eyes and wide grins.
Statistics about adult reading are depressing. I guess too many people are working so hard to make ends meet and take care of their families they think don’t have time for reading. My heart goes out to them because a good book could help them deal with their situation so much more easily.
As soon as I finish the last book in the series of the Traveling Pants, I found two more books by Anne Brashares that I haven’t read yet, and then I’ll dive into another Jack Reacher book by Lee Childs. What are YOU enjoying today?
Recently I told you that I had started re-reading the “Jack Reacher” books by Lee Child. I’ve read the first three and am ready to start, “Running Blind.” I haven’t read them for several years, so it feels as if I’ve found a treasure trove.
In the middle of this, though, my husband just finished reading “Camino Island,” by John Grisham, and said I would like it, so I’m reading that one first, and then will get back to the Lee Child books.
I feel so rich, having so many good books to read around me. I’m trying not to get TOOOOOO caught up, though, because we have so many other things around here that need my attention. The time seems to slip away when I dive into a wonderful read….
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.” — Dr. Seuss
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl
“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift.” — Kate DiCamillo
“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them.” — Neil Gaiman
“You may have tangible wealth untold. Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be — I had a mother who read to me.” — Strickland Gillilan
“Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!” — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943
“When I say to a parent, “read to a child”, I don’t want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. ” — Mem Fox
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald
“I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book.” — Coolio
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass
“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” — Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” — Walt Disney
After I got my Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist back in 1492, I didn’t want to read anything for awhile. I had been under so much pressure to read things I didn’t want to read and be ready to spit out the information in whatever form required for a LONG time. I found that, even when I tried to read something for pleasure, I read it as if I would be tested on it.
As I taught school at the elementary level on the north side in Tulsa for 8 years, my students have a need to learn to read at first. Their lives were such that books and reading just didn’t make the cut on what was important. I finally learned to break through that, using my guitar to teach phonics, and tossing all the rules I had just learned out the window, opting for common sense approaches. My own love of reading again broke through as I began convincing my students that they could develop a life-long love of reading.
I cannot go a day without reading. I LOVE the Internet. It’s such a good source of information, and you can learn most anything you want to if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to judge your sources. I could spend hours on YouTube. After reading and getting some background, actually watching demonstrations or explanations help make the new skills your own.
I read and follow recipes – trying to fill our lives with good-for-us low-carb food. I’m a lousy cook and have no talent for coming up with things on my own, but using the creativity of others, I can find a good recipe to try (low-carb peanut butter cookies will be tried soon), get whatever ingredients I need, and make the recipe that day (often to the delight of my husband).
I read to try to find out what’s going on in the world. I’ve learned that there is a lot of mis-information out there provided by really biased folks with axes to grind, but if I keep looking, I can find more reliable sources and then can judge for myself what is important for me to know and what the facts are.
Mostly, though, I read for FUN. I am the happy owner of a lot of books that I enjoyed reading, and now enjoy re-reading. I also love ordering new books for my Kindle. I can dive into a world that allows me to leave whatever might be bothering me behind, immersing myself in a world of interesting people doing things I’d never dream of doing personally. I emerge, feeling rested and happy.
I don’t want to believe the statistics above. I feel sad that so many people are missing such a rich source of learning and happiness. This would be something I would want to try to change – if I had the chance.
A cold front is due this afternoon. It’s 60 degrees F (!) outside right now. By mid afternoon, it’s supposed to be freezing with “wintry mix” and trickle-the-water-in-the-sinks time tonight through the middle of next week, at least.
Happily, we’re rich in books around here. I already told you that
- I bought and read the 44 books in the J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts “In Death” series with the strong female detective, Eve Dallas. When I finished those, I switched to re-reading
- The 40 Robert B. Parker “Spenser” series books. When I finished those recently, I found that book # 45 in the “In Death” series had finally come out in paperback, so I bought and finished that a couple of days ago. (#46 in the series, “Dark in Death,” comes out in hardback sometime this year, but I’ll have to wait quite awhile before IT comes out in paperback)
- Now I’m happily re-reading the Robert B. Parker “Jesse Stone” series. There are 9 books in this series by the author. Several other authors are trying to carry on each of the series, but I’ve tried a few and they are just a pale imitation.
So the weather can do what it will. We have hot apple cider for my husband and coffee for me, two dogs, two cats, 4 fish, comfortable recliners and throws, and lots of books to enjoy!
I’m reading book number 35 of 40 books I have in the Robert B. Parker Spenser series. Even while I’m comfortable enjoying being in this wonderful world he created, I’m sad that soon I will have re-read them all again. Another writer is trying to provide more – and I guess that is the most sincere form of flattery – but the books just don’t ‘make it’ for me. He tries, but it’s a really pale version of what Parker seemed to create effortlessly.
I’ve decided that when I finish the last book in the Spenser series, I’ll re-read his Jesse Stone books. I have all the movies made from these, so I can really dive in and enjoy.
Since it’s really cold for Arkansas – a low of 10 this morning with a high of 26 – making low carb comfort food and curling up under my throw with a good book is a nice way to spend some time today. :0)
I’m still working on moving a whole bunch of my library upstairs to the guest room. We have some nice built-in shelves that will help me organize stuff, rather than just trying to cram yet another book into my overflowing shelves. I’m trying to move all of one type of book each day.