Category Archives: Reluctant Reader
As many of you know, I have pages on my blog, which get updated regularly – even if my blog doesn’t. One of the pages is a listing of my reviews of YA books. These reviews in their simplest form are simply one reader’s thoughts about a book. I recently finished and reviewed Cover-up by John Feinstein. I didn’t like the book. There were many reasons why I didn’t like it. This is my opinion and my opinion only. I gave the book one star. After I finished reviewing the book on Goodreads, the review posted to my Twitter account and the blog. And I went about my day.
I didn’t think twice about the review as I had seemingly more important things on my mind (like getting much needed highlights in my hair and what book I was going to read next). Later that day, I popped open my laptop cover to check in with my various social networking sites and maybe play some Angry Birds. Imagine my surprise when I had a response to my review. Who knew that people actually paid attention? However, that wasn’t as shocking as what followed.
My passion is literacy. This is no surprise to any of you who know me in the real world or in the virtual one. However, if I were to give a definition to this passion, I would have to say that my real passion is adolescent literacy – what do kids read, write, view, listen to, and speak about and more importantly what will get them to read (more), write (more), view things differently and even critically, listen critically, and express themselves clearly. I’ve spent 19 years in the classroom observing young adolescents and literacy and honing my pedagogy to help them become lifelong readers, writers, and consumers of knowledge. I’ve sought graduate degrees in this field, and I’m currently writing my dissertation about this topic. You may say I’m an expert, but I’m not the only one… (to badly paraphrase John Lennon), and John Lennon and the rest of the Beatles is where I want to begin today.
At the end of January, I posted my troubles finding my Schmidt’s Pick for February. After much reading, I did indeed find a Pick for February. I was reminded the other day that I never shared with you, my dear reader, what that Pick is. Call it oversight. Blame it on being busy (juggling full-time teaching and full-time doctoral work is a bit demanding). Or blame it on me. I’m inundated daily with spam messages left on the blog (some messages are downright offensive), and I assume, wrongly, that the majority of my readers aren’t readers at all but spammers.
As someone who’s mother used to tell her, “It’s a beautiful day. Get your nose out of your book, and go outside,” I don’t quite understand the reluctant reader. Okay, I’ll admit it. I don’t. I understand not wanting to read something you’re forced to read (Moby Dick), I understand not having time to read (writing grad school papers), I understand needing a break from reading (yeah, sometimes I do). But I just don’t understand not ever wanting to read. Because I don’t understand it, as a language arts literacy teacher, I’ve become a bit fascinated by it.