Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Let's talk about books, baby, let's talk about kids reading...

...let's talk about all the good things, all the great things that may be. Let's talk about books. Let's talk about books. (I wasn't kidding when I said I could write new lyrics to any song.)

Do you remember what your favorite book was as a child? Sadly, a lot of children can't tell you what their favorite book is because they have no access to books.

I have seen first hand how accessibility to books has a positive impact on a child's literacy, but as a reading intervention teacher, I unfortunately saw the reverse more often. First Book is an organization dedicated to providing new books to children in need. Right now, through May 28, BlogHer and BookRenter will donate one book via First Book just for telling them which book has had the greatest impact on your life. And if you blog about the campaign, like I've just done, they'll add a second book to their donation. Click here for details, and help a child in need receive a book that might change his or her life forever.


Speaking of reading, Hubby and I got into a heated discussion about my reading habits the other day. He thinks that because I was an English major, I should always have my nose in a book. I tried to explain to him that like everything I do, I have to be in the mood to read. If I'm not into it, I'll read the same sentence over and over again. The same is true of all my hobbies. Just because I go weeks - or more realistically these days, months - without scrapbooking doesn't mean I don't like it anymore. It doesn't mean that it's not a priority; it just means that it's lower on the priority list than other activities at that given time. It's no secret that my writing has taken over most of my free hours. That's been my choice and one that has made me really happy. And while I do think it's important for writers to read, I also think sometimes writers need to be alone with their own voice at certain points in the process. The last couple of weeks, I've enjoyed being in a bubble with my characters and no other voice but my own. So though there have been many times in my life where I would read just to read, these days, I pretty much read because I'm compelled to lose myself in a particular story. (For instance, if you don't hear from me for a few days, it's because I'm devouring the new Sookie book that I've been waiting months to read.)

While Hubby and I ultimately agreed to disagree about the need to read every night before bed, the discussion did get me thinking about the books I've been compelled to read lately. Going through the list in my head, I came to two conclusions:

  1. I need to read more books that are written for adults. 
  2. I need to read more books that are written for adults that don't have vampires in them.

When I stumbled upon Booking Mama's 2010 EW Summer Books Challenge, I thought it might be just the thing I need to get me back on the adult, non-vampire bookmobile.

The challenge runs from May 1 through Labor Day. I've decided to be a Guppy, mainly because I don't know what a polliwog is. To be a Guppy, I have to read 4-6 books from the list. Here are my picks:

This Body of Death by Elizabeth George
I haven't read a good, non-vampire mystery in a long while. This one's London setting was an immediate draw.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
Simply put, I love reading about other cultures.

Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness by Dominique Browning
This sounds like it might be in the same vein as Jen Lancaster's Bitter is the New Black and Julie Powell's Julie and Julia.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
Okay, this one breaks the rules. It's young adult AND it's about vampires. But it's on the list, so it's fair game.

I'm looking forward to reading a few books that I'm not embarrassed to pick up in public (oh yeah, I totally hid the cover of Twilight when I read it on a plane), and I know Hubby will be happy not to hear me swooning about vampires as he's trying to go to sleep.

Your turn to share! Is your nose always in a book like Hubby? Or do you read when the fancy strikes, like me? Which books are you looking forward to reading this summer?

9 comments:

Cheri said...

My first favorite was "Green Eggs and Ham" which I could "read" when I was four because I had memorized it. I don't read novels much now - my family hates when I do because I literally enter that other world and don't re-emerge until the last page is finished - and they don't appreciate my absence much. Go figure.

~Kristen~ said...

Yeah, thanks girlie!!! I am just gonna looove having Salt-n-Pepa stuck in my head all day... ;-)

I so agree with how important reading is for children. My nephew, who is 6 and in first grade has been reading on his own since he was 2! And I believe it is because we all introduced him to books from the time he was an infant. He is not "gifted" he just loves to read, and reads well above his grade level.

I always had my nose in a book as child. From the time I could read Golden Books all the way up to the young adult novels I enjoyed, I jsut loved reading. I still do, but, like you, I can't be constantly reading unless I am feeling it. And sometimes I just don't "feel it" for months on end. I do read magazine a lot, though. they jsut require much less of a commitment!

Julie P. said...

I'm looking forward to reading as many of the EW books as possible this summer. Thanks for joining!

sassymonkey said...

I don't think I had one favourite book as a child, I think I had many. Kind of like today the answer changes depending on the day.

Thanks for blogging about the campaign.

Kelly said...

I don't remember what I read as a little girl (I learned to read at 3 years old thanks to my mom who was a reading teacher for developmentally disabled students). But I remember the first book that I read over and over again: Carrie by Stephen King. Yes! I loved it! I think I was 6.

I also had a book of short stories from the Children's Encyclopedia that I read obsessively.

As for my reading habits, if I have a book, I read it obsessively. If I don't have a book, I don't miss reading. Does that make sense? I do not buy books anymore, so I'm dependent on the library.

Amanda said...

I'm always looking for good books to read, although I don't get to read them nearly as much as I'd like. Life just gets in the way! And my husband likes to talk to me while I read. But I get stuck on the chick lit because it's easy to read and pretty entertaining...sort of like reality TV. :)

Amy@thosefunnylittlegirls said...

I have always loved to read. My mother loved to read and she passed it on to me adn now I have passed it on to my daughters. My 8 year old is an excellent reader and it has made her an excellent student as well. My favorite books as a child include Nancy Drew and Anne of Green Gables.
I should b e getting my copy of the new Sookie novel anyday now....
Team Eric.

Crafty Girls Workshop said...

Well, the first book I ever read was Over in the Meadow and yes, I had it memorized. I've just put in a "pick me up" order for Slow Love at Barnes and Noble. Apparently it costs a little more than it would on Amazon but I am more of an instant gratification person. Plus, I can't show my face at the library because my last overdue fine was $25!! I've visiting from the Lady Blogger's social Tea Party today. Great blog!

Anna

NB said...

Thanks for posting those books, I followed the link and they each seem like something I want to read this summer. Also, I know what you mean about hiding the Twilight books. I have been carrying around the 1st novel in my purse and have yet to redad past page 2.

My commitment to novels have been a big wooping 0. I think the last novel I read was by Dean Koonitz, Odd Thomas from the recommedation of my cousin in Germany. We share the same book interests.