A Year of Reading

Until recently, I didn't realize that there are nationally scheduled reading activities for every month of the year. Some months have quite a lot going on related to books and reading. This emphasizes for me the importance of being able to read. It is a daunting skill for some and if it is not acquired by the end of third grade, one's life trajectory is seriously hampered. While we assume that learning to read is the job of the school system, it needs to be reinforced at every opportunity regardless of the setting. We all need to help each other master reading, especially each child.

As I scanned the year's calendar of reading activities, a number of questions came to mind. More than wondering how many books people read each year or what format they use hard copy or e-book, I pondered how people select their books. For me, I use book reviews and word of mouth. The latter is more important for me because I can ask questions about the individual's reaction to the content, style and genre of the book she/he suggests. There are some friends who always ask, "What are you reading?" which inevitably leads to a good discussion.

What are you reading? Why did you choose this particular book? Would you recommend it to another? How does reading this book affect you? Is it for entertainment only or do you expect something more? If you could chat with the author, what would you say?

Beyond the practicality of reading road signs and recipes, there is an experience that is only available through engaging with the written word. I hope that the next book you choose might be one of mine. Happy Reading!

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