Reading: Just Do It!

People who can read, should.

Are you a reader? Do you enjoy losing yourself in a book? This week is Read Across America Week. Teachers all across the country are shining a light on the benefits of reading.

REMEMBER WHEN READING WAS FUN ?

When I was a child I loved to read or hear others read. Yertle the Turtle, by Dr. Seuss was one of our family favorites. My mother read the book to us so often, my brothers and I memorized most of the lines.

In elementary school I enjoyed the Boxcar Children. Author Gertrude Warren amazed me with her tale of four orphans surviving on their own in an abandoned boxcar. I admired their ingenuity and the way they cared for one another.

A memorable character I related to was Anne Shirley, the dramatic imaginative Anne, spelled with an E of course! I felt a connection because like me, she got in trouble for talking too much. I read Anne of Green Gables again as an adult. L.M. Montgomery still delighted me with her beautiful descriptions. A few years ago, I enjoyed posing with “Anne” on a trip to Prince Edward Island.

HOW I LOST MY LOVE OF READING

As a parent, teacher, and now as a new author, I’m still talking to children about the importance of reading. Books contain insight, information, and inspiration. Books help us grow mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Parents and teachers encourage their children to read, but do they read for themselves? If not, what happened?

Sometime during my high school years, I was forced to read for information only. The entertainment value of books decreased. My classes demanded I read in order to pass a test, or write a term paper. This continued throughout college. The joy of reading evaporated like a puddle on hot pavement.

After college I became busy with my teaching career, managing a household, and transporting my children to their activities. I always hoped I would have more time to read without interruption. Sigh. Does reading a lesson plan count?

I remember when elementary schools used to have D.E.A.R. time during the school day. Everybody, including the teacher, was supposed to Drop Everything And Read. It was a sacred time when teachers were supposed to model good reading behavior. That’s a great idea in a perfect world. The reality was much different. It was hard for me to ignore the children and sit with a book when Johnny was writing with a Sharpie on his desk. Well, like many short lived programs, D.E.A.R. was dropped for learning goals and standardized testing. How sad.

Fortunately for me, retirement brought an opportunity to read more. Right now I’m reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. Author Kim Michele Richardson tells the story of the blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the prejudice they encountered during the 1930’s. As someone who is”blue,” Cussy Mary Carter had plenty of reasons to hate white people, but instead responded with love. Cussy worked as a “packhorse librarian.” She carried books to some of the poorest and most remote shacks in Appalachia. The packhorse lending library was sponsored by the WPA of the Roosevelt administration. Cussy’s patrons grew to appreciate her love for books and gave her the name Book Woman. This book made me think about the importance of reading and how I often take it for granted.

START NEW HABITS

I love sitting down with a good book. If you would like to spend more time reading, I’ve come up with five tips.

Read for fifteen minutes every night before you go to bed.

Order books from the public library. Most libraries lend ebooks these days.

Join a book club. You’ll read books you wouldn’t normally read, and make lifelong friends.

Join Book Bub, an online service that emails you daily with reduced prices on Amazon ebooks that suit your interests.

Dedicate one night a week to uninterrupted reading. Stay away from your phone, or better yet, turn it off.

Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to get busy reading, but keep reading blogs, too! (I think that counts.) What are you reading lately? Leave a comment about a book you’ve enjoyed, or offer a reading tip of your own.

Author: debbieburton.blog

Debbie Burton is a children's author and award winning poet. Her books, "Buddy the Beagle on Blueberry Street" and "Return to Blueberry Street" (Elk Lake) are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

8 thoughts on “Reading: Just Do It!”

  1. That’s a good idea to make sure that you read fifteen minutes before you go to bed. I remember loving reading as a kid, so it would be nice to pick that habit back up. I should consider getting some books so I could start doing that and hopefully start enjoying reading again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you remember the stories I read to you. It was a special time for me too. When I was a child I remember stories from my fourth year reader about traveling to England. And of course The Blue Barns, and the fat goose that couldn’t walk. I memorized a story called Thumbelina which I recited to the first grade pupils. I read the History books like a novel of adventure. Then there was the book titled a Horse Named Frog which I read in bed with a flashlight. And the best Christmas gift from my aunt, Little Women. I read the Little House on the Prairie series while recovering from breast cancer surgery. And I was enchanted with the Mitford series by Jan Koran. Now I enjoy reading devotionals which minister to me. Keep up your writing, it too is inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Since I’m in your book club, you know what I’m reading, wink, wink.
    Finding a great book that is liked by many, is easier said than done. I’ve learned that recommendations rarely pan out, so choosing what to read is a challenge. Personally, I don’t want to spend my time reading for the sake of reading….just because.
    I would list my favorites, but again, they are just MY recommendation. See what I mean?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, I’m with you regarding recommendations rarely pan out! But every once in awhile, they do. Feel free to recommend, my friend. Any book that’s kept your interest has to have something going for it!

      Like

  4. We just read, “The Silent Patient”. It was amazing. I’ll suggest your latest book, it sounded so good! In my VIPKID teaching, many of my kids have read some “classics”; Fly Guy, Harry Potter, Magic Treehouse, Peppa Pig, usually IN ENGLISH! Reading is a universal bond we can all share in any language!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so glad that retirement years have allowed me more time to indulge my love of reading. Unfortunately, aging eyes limit how long I can read at one time. 😦 Although I really prefer the feel of print books, Kindle has allowed me to read more easily because I can change the font, size, and contrast of the screen. Also I can have lots of books at my fingertips in one small tablet. TIP: Subscribing to laura@christianbookfinds.com is a great way to find free and reduced price Christian books. Read on!!

    Liked by 1 person

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