Saturday, June 27, 2009

On Reading

I've always loved to read. When I was in kindergarten, I remember bringing home a stack of beginner-reader books to read for the summer. When I was a little older, I remember being drawn in by Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, The Babysitters Club, The Boxcar Children, and so many more. We didn't have cable TV when I was growing up - I don't even think I knew what it was until we moved to Taiwan! But I didn't need it - I had books, and I was a true bookworm. Still am, although I don't have as much time to read for fun anymore. But anyway, I found a few beautiful and profound quotes in my reading today.

From the article Reading Aloud by L. Calkins:

" We read on - dream on - not passively but actively, worrying about the choices the characters have to make, listening in panic for some sound behind the fictional door, exalting in characters' success, bemoaning their failures. In great fiction, the dream engages us heart and soul; we not only respond to imaginary things - sights, sounds, smells - as though they were real, we respond to fictional problems as though they were real: we sympathize, think, and judge."

"Our goal, like the poet Julius Lester says, is for the literature to 'link our souls like pearls on a string, bringing us together in a shared and luminous humanity.'"

"Read to them. Take their breath away. Read with the same feeling in your throat as when you first see the ocean after driving for hours and hours to get there. Close the final page of the book with the same reverence you feel when you kiss your sleeping child at night. Be quiet. Don't talk the experience to death. Shut up and let these kids feel and think. Teach your children to be moved."

Wow. The power of words and of teachers reading to their students. I hope to be that teacher!

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