Sadly, I still haven’t read a book – in two months. I went from a book a day to nothing, and it feels empty. I’ve had other priorities all summer, but now it’s time to get back into it. I fully expect the monthly Said and Read reading report to return at the end of September.
A former colleague and I have been talking about literacy and especially the world of encouraging children to read from an early age. Similar themes came up again recently when my brother came to visit and, improbably, credited me (at only 1.5 years his senior) as a major influence in his wanting to explore the world and learn. He felt that we didn’t have that kind of encouragement from our parents and thought that I had somehow spontaneously developed my own curiosity, reaching out into the wider world through music and global pen pals and learning other languages.
While it is true that I was “reading” from the time I could recognize signs and talk (this being more memory, recognition and making connections than actual reading), and was quite insistent on reading for myself, much of this was instilled by my grandmother – who constantly read and encouraged me to read. We don’t know as children what our voracious reading is doing, but it is fundamentally shaping how we approach the world – how we learn and consider almost everything, how we deploy our imaginations, how we interact with the world and the people in it, how we understand language… and much more. And this forged my curiosity and need to escape, to move beyond my personal limitations, fears and boundaries and to reach out into the world as much as my introverted nature (and the pre-internet world) would allow. Would this have been possible without this attachment to reading?
Anyway… I will be back with more book-related stuff. Meanwhile I got myself a new ergonomic kneeling chair (the first time I saw one like this was in my high school library – the librarian had one of these, and I have always wanted one. It only took me 20+ years to act on that want). Have a seat and accept my invitation to go back and read previous months’ “book reports”, if you’re curious: