My journey to shoot for the moon.

Reading and Books

Besides scrapbooking, my other hobby is reading.  I read a ton and it is hard to keep me in books.  When I go to the store to buy books, I look for the biggest ones that I can find.

Sometimes this leads to AMAZING books like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series.  These books are some of my all-time favorites.  They are Sci-Fi, Romance, Historical Fiction all rolled into one.  And they were the largest books on the shelf when I was looking.  It was by chance that I found these books.  A lot of times, when I’m in a bookstore, I’ll look for the biggest books that seem to be in a series.  I do this because I am often very sad when I finish reading a book and want to continue the story.  So, if a book is large AND is in a series with a number of large books, it is a bonus for me!

When we lived in Zion, IL I bought books at the library that were $0.10 or $0.25.  I loved doing this and would often leave books in places where people could “borrow” them; the airport, doctor’s offices, you know the places where you seem to wait forever.  In Parker, CO I tend to get books at Goodwill.  However, I found a wonderful used bookstore.  The store is called Cover 2 Cover and you can check them out here.  They don’t sell used books online, but they do sell new books, e-books, DVDs and CDs from their online store.  The best part is that  the owner, Sharon, is very good to teachers. She allows people to donate their credits to a “teacher fund” that any teacher can use towards a purchase for their classroom.  I found this out when I went in the first time.  I bought several books for my classroom and Sharon used a donated credit for 1/2 of my purchase.  It was wonderful.  I’ve already brought in a number of books to “trade” and have a credit waiting for me.  The nice thing about that is I was able to donate part of my credit to another teacher.  Sharon also helped me find the two novels that David has to read this summer before starting his freshmen year of high school.

I didn’t plan on blogging a testimonial about Sharon and Cover 2 Cover.  It just happened, but if you are in the area, it is worth checking out.  She’s behind the Sonic on Lincoln.  Be prepared so spend some time looking – she has a ton of books.

Now back to my blog about Reading and Books. . .

I am usually reading several books at a time.  Usually one or two non-fiction books and one fiction.  I read very, very quickly.  This summer I am reading several non-fiction books along with books I may be teaching in the Fall.  I also have a mindless, fun read.  Generally, I read these in a day or two and am ready to move on.  I also read many magazines.  These would also fall under the mindless, fun category, except for Time.  , If it sounds like I spend a lot of time reading, I do.

When I was a teenager and probably before that, I needed something to read if I was eating alone.  If I didn’t have a book that I was into, I would read the back of the cereal box.  Even the nutritional information.  I never thought about it being strange, but I guess it was.  With computers and the internet, I am never without something to read, so I don’t read the cereal box anymore.  I guess that is a good thing since I don’t eat much cereal anymore either.

When David was born, I read to him.  Lots.  I also actively worked to teach him to read.  Once he started reading, he couldn’t seem to stop.  I remember one day he was sitting on the floor in his room.  He was supposed to be getting dressed.  He had started but got distracted while his underwear was around his knees.  I believe that he was getting ready to go to school.  Anyway, after he didn’t come down I went looking for him.  There he was sitting on the floor with a book.  I actually had to tell him to stop reading and get dressed.  During his elementary school years this happened a lot.

Michael, on the other hand, didn’t show any interest in reading.  He was too busy doing other things.  Although, it seems to me, he went to sleep one night not knowing how to read and woke up the next morning and was reading chapter books.  Except, he didn’t seem interested in reading any of the books that David loved.  He is still pretty picky about his reading material.  But he does get so involved, at times, that he doesn’t want to put his book down.  He’ll say, “Shhhh Mom.  I’m trying to read.”

When the boys were still quite young, I carried a book in my purse to read to them while we waited places.  One day we were waiting for $1 swim at the Zion Pool and were sitting on the sidewalk outside the pool.  I got out the book we were reading (it was a Magic Treehouse book, although I don’t remember which one – I read a lot of those aloud).  The boys settled in to listen and the next thing I knew, I had a number of kids gathered around to listen.  It was wonderful to see all the kids interested in a book.  But it was also a shame.  Didn’t their parent’s have books for them to read?

I got the same feeling when I started teaching High School; the feeling that the students were lacking books and missing out on having people read to them.  Somehow, somewhere reading became something they HATED.  They were drilled on sight words and phonics and as I tell my students, “had the joy of reading sucked out of them.”  It is very sad to see students who don’t like to read and don’t like books.  One of my goals as a teacher is to try to instill a love of reading in my students; to try to fix the wrong that has been done to them by previous, well-meaning adults who made reading work and not fun.  I’m not quite sure about the best way to do that, but I have some ideas.  I can’t wait to share them with my students.  And Dad, if you’re reading, I’ve got a job for you.

What was your favorite book when you were a teenager?  Or a kid?  Did you read because you had to or you wanted to?


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