Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Like Water to a Sponge: My Relationship with Reading

My fingers brushed along every spine.  I walked along the rows of bookshelves, entranced by the options.  A trip to the library for me was not an “in and out” experience.  Every time I would feel completely indecisive.  What should I read?  It all looks so intriguing with the colorful covers and bold striking titles.  Places like Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million make bank off of people like me.  It takes honest strength for me to walk out of book store and not look like Gus-Gus off of Cinderella; a stack of books so high, my chin is the only thing keeping them from flying all over the place. 
As we speak, I have several books glaring at me, waiting to be read, mulled over, and loved.  Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol, a loaner from a teacher friend (what aspiring teacher wouldn’t want to read this?); The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, current popular teenage read borrowed from a youth member at my church; The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto, loaned from my concerned father about our education system (this looks a little intimidating as it presents like a text book); Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, Ralph S. Mouse and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary, old treasures thrown out and discovered; Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien, a fifth grade favorite and possible cultural point book review candidate; Matilda by Roald Dahl, ‘I can’t believe I saw the movie as a child and didn’t realize it was a book’ must-read; and finally Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, I picked this up because I read The Glass Castle and fell in love with the authors sassy but well-spoken nature. 
My waiting list of books varies to say the least.  Most were suggested by friends and family, I love to bond with people through reading.  Others have worn out pages and are stamped from old libraries and teachers with forgetful students; somehow they found a home on my book shelf.  No complaints.  I will read them so that their pages continue to wear, but also because I may have a chance to hand them out to my own absentminded students.  And then there are the books I have chosen for myself. 
The excitement I feel for my new collection of Children’s Literature is high to say the least.  I have a second pile of books from one of my classes and they are glaring just as hard as the first.  Imagine Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  She loved to read, it’s apparent from the beginning of the movie.  She loved to read so much that she was given the library at Beast’s castle.  What a gift!  Ever since I could remember, I’ve wanted to absorb the words of our time, give consideration to each of them, and to adore them. 
“Like water to a sponge."
List your favorite books here.