I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about people and reading and people who do not read. Here are a few vignettes that have made me pause and have brought me here:
- I have enjoyed the book club at school with the Grade Three's. One mom, who I am friends with, has needed some, shall we say, encouragement to get the book for her kid. Having to get the book for her child has forced her to learn to use the public library website (a bit of a painful process for her, so it seems!) and it has initiated some good conversations about reading and being a facilitator to help kids get access to books that inspire them. It was particularly interesting to me when I sent out the email announcing the next book the kids had picked....she wrote back: "Nooooooooooooo!!!!!" I was a bit worried initially that she didn't like the book choice. Rather, she was saying she didn't want to have to go to the library AGAIN!" Since I go to the library a number of times a week, I was a little stumped about how to address that one. In the end she found the book in our school library, so the problem was solved.
- One of my co-workers who says she is an avid reader told me she doesn't have a library card. I was stumped again. Not sure how we would live without the library. It is the best $12 I spend all year!
- At parent-teacher conferences a parent whined that her child still hadn't got the book club book. As we got talking it came out that the child has a bunch of fines and mom insists they must be paid from her child's own money..... so she can't take the book out. She ranted on about how irresponsible her child is with books and how she accumulates fines all the time....end result: this kid won't be getting the book, nor participating in our book club meeting...and will continue missing the opportunity to feel the spark she might need to develop a love of reading. Seems like a strange parenting hill to die on, if you ask me. I can't tell you how many times this parent has complained to me that her child doesn't read. Sometimes I really don't know where to start in conversations with her.
- A well educated woman (teacher with a masters degree) and a parent of young children that I know, was talking about how her sister is in a book club. she reiterated a conversation wither sister where she was aghast that these people meet EVERY month, and they also actually read a whole book EVERY month. She said, "Who has time for that?" Allen was standing there when she said this and he just kind of looked at me and smirked. We didn't bring up how many books Allen reads in a month (often 4-8 books, as well as reading The Book of Mormon in it's entirety)
It really got me wondering why it is people don't read. I have a secret mission (is it still a secret if I declare it here?) to get people reading. The question is: how is that best done?