As a child, I absolutely loved to read. My wonderful Mom took my siblings and I to the library every week (thanks mom!), we would enjoy the ever entertaining story time and then I would choose a new crop of books to devour. I loved the library. In fact, I learned to write my name just months after my 4th birthday because I wanted my own library card. As I grew, my taste changed. I loved the Bernstein Bears in early grades, went through a Biographies stage in the 4th grade, then moved to a Full House series that focused on the character Stephanie, next I believe I fell in love with Sweet Valley High books. But then, something happened. In high school, I received my first summer reading novel: Dickens's Great Expectations. It was awful. Perhaps it was above my lexile level or maybe because I had to read it unsupported or maybe because I was more interested in being on AIM chat that summer, but I hated it. My apolgies to Mr. Dickens. I spent the entire summer trying to get through that book. I don't think I finished it. Reading changed for me then. It transformed into an assignment. Sure, there were books that I liked that we read like The Outsiders, Fahrenheit 451, and Jane Eyre, but soon I began relying on sparknotes instead of actually reading the books.
For whatever reason, my reading outside of school changed too. I started reading mainly fiction books on my immature christian faith. I felt like I had to work hard and strive to mature my faith (boy, was I wrong), and I thought the way to do that was to read every young woman's fiction book there was to find. I neglected my love for reading in college too. This was due to so much time reading textbook assignments, and also my goal to read the Bible through before graduation (that took me two years). I still read many fiction books to try to prove myself as a great christian. Don't get me wrong, I still love books like that. One saving grace I did find were blogs. I think that is a reason I like blogs so much, because its a tiny novella of that person's life or thoughts. But overall, I had lost that love of getting lost in a book. That magical feeling that comes when you are totally enveloped in the lives of the characters. This is something that I long to pass down to my students as their 8th grade reading teacher. More than anything, I want them to discover or rediscover a love for reading. What a treasure it is!
Life has slowed down so much after college (amen, hallelujah). And one thing I have rediscovered is that love for non-fiction reading. In the last two months, I have read....
Same Kind of Different as Me**
Hoot (with my students)
The Lucky One
**= Must reads!
Currently I'm in the middle of...
To Kill a Mockingbird (with my students)
Love & Respect (just a few more chapters Am!)
Books on my list...
The rest of the Kingsbury Baxter Family series (14 more books!!)
I Will Carry You
Last night I was reading and Jason looked over at me and said "I love that you love to read". I smiled and asked him to explain. He said that he knew it was very important to brain development (ok, these are my words, but that's what he meant), and that it was a great hobby to have. But that most of all, he wanted that to be passed down to our children.
: ) Oh my heart, it melts.
So if you need me. I'll be under a blanket somewhere reading a novel or standing in front of a classroom of 13 year olds trying to make a classic novel come to life or at the library getting my next adventure.