Remember my Literature Rant on Monday? This is kind of part two, and the some of the reason for my feelings on the matter.
I love to read a variety of books, from "easy" to "challenging," and I don't think any particular type is better than another.
I think that reading is a gift that shouldn't be lost in an attempt to be more "literary."
The sad thing that I see happening in this world isn't that "people don't read enough classic literature anymore," or that "people only read for entertainment." The sad thing I see is kids labeled and told they can't read higher or lower than a certain reading level. Or kids that I see who have been told they "should" read a certain type of book that they don't like . . . and then guess what? They stop reading, entirely.
When I met my husband, he didn't read any fiction. He only read technical manuals and textbooks. He thought all fiction was boring and he strongly disliked reading. He thought it was "cute" that I liked to read, but he didn't want to join me.
So, I started a campaign to turn him into a reader. I read him snippets of books out loud in the car. I told him how my favorite books were like my favorite movies. (He really likes movies.) I read him half of Ender's Game, and he finished it. I read him half of The Hobbit, and he finished it. I read him half of Watership Down and he finished it.
When our girls were little, he read aloud to them, and had fun doing the voices. He told them stories. Then he wrote a children's book of stories that he made up with them. (It's on our bookshelf, but can't be found anywhere for sale - it's called The Adventures of Thumper and Brim)
He went from hating reading fiction to loving it.
I wish I could do that same for everyone I meet who dislikes reading . . . but what I really wish is that every kid and every adult could read for the love of it, and for the love of stories and books. I dream of a world where books are available for every person in every country, and libraries have to work hard to keep the books on their shelves because they're being checked out all the time.
Today I'm celebrating: books; books without labels. books that we know are the best because they are thought-provoking, fun, educational and entertaining all at the same time! They lift us up out of whatever circumstances we are in, and show us a new horizon.
Oh, and I would like to extend a personal thanks to all those librarians who have made my reading life rich!
How do you share your love of reading with your friends and family?
And what are you celebrating today?