I want to read.
I try to read, but I can't.
No books seem to grab my interest.
I ask everyone I know for recommendations.
I'm forcing myself to read but failing.
Having a discussion the other week about literacy and what it looks like in our lives, a colleague of mine mentioned that his children said that he doesn't read. On the outside it may look like that to his children. His wife had to explain that although Daddy may not have a lot of traditional mediums around such as books, that he reads all day long for his job, and also reads at home in different capacities such as online, newspapers, sports apps, etc. In actuality his is a voracious reader. This conversation helped me realize, that I may be doing more reading then I thought I was: online articles, Facebook, Twitter, reading aloud to my students on a daily basis, emails, texts...
However, I still feel that I am reading for life, not necessarily for pleasure. Don't get me wrong I find deep delight in my life and career and what I consume to deepen my knowledge. But that is not enough. When I was in University I was assigned a ton of reading, that I felt guilty whenever I did try to read for enjoyment. Similarly, when I started teaching I did not seem to have the time to read since I was consumed with lesson planning. Recognizing that my reading life is passing me by, I wonder, did University and my career as an educator change my reading habits? Have they killed the reading out of me?
I hope not. I believe that I need to make space in my life and set aside time to read what I want. Technology and the act of changing my reading habits has elicited a difficulty to stop and be mindful. To shut out the chaos of life and get lost in another world.
In class during independent reading, I was reading with a student when another student started laughing. A few minutes later, he was laughing again. The joy that had come out of his laugh engulfed the entire classroom and struck a chord with me. I had to tell the class that what they were hearing was one of the most beautiful feelings in the world. To have a book take you to a place that makes you laugh out loud is unique. It immediately, reminded me of the first time I laughed out loud to a book. I remember it vividly, I was on the bus, reading Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugarman and I started laughing uncontrollably that I didn't even notice at first the people looking at me or even where I was. I hadn't done that before or at least not in public and that joyful feeling still resonates with me today. That is what is missing in my reading world. I am tempted to actually read Harry Potter (yes I know, who hasn't read Harry Potter, let alone an educator) after hearing my students complete enjoyment and how he has devoured the series in less than 6 months, not bad for a grade 3er. But for now, just like so many things in life that we allow to slide. I am going to start small and set aside manageable increments of time to read with the hope that I'll find that book that I don't want to put down. Wish me luck.