Reading is one of the greatest gifts anyone can receive. It is a shame that so many of the 8th graders that pass through my classroom openly mock my love of reading and claim that they have better things to do. That is why I try to share my love of books and display positive reading habits for my students (I’ll save my how to guide for another post). This is why I read:
I read because adulting is hard. I totally get where the kids are coming from. Having strict deadlines and difficult assignments can often take the fun out of reading. I myself remember several books that I was supposed to read in school, that I simply didn’t because I was an obnoxious weirdo who thought reading spark notes made me a rebel. I understand that be told that you have to read, often makes you not want to read. It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized how important taking time to read can be. Being away from your parents for the first time is not easy and I found refuge in the books I read for my King Arthur class. Reading about the Round Table and the once and future king helped me forget all the stresses that come with being an adult. And this class is what inspired me to become an English teacher.
Now that I have graduated and am about to begin my second year as a teacher, I cherish reading more than ever. I often tell my kids that it can be hard to find the time to read. Even though I love my books more than anything (apart from my cat), it is a heck of a lot easier to sit around with Netflix after a day of dealing with 8th grade shenanigans. That is why I set a schedule. I shoot for about a chapter a night during the school year because once I get started it’s very hard for me to stop. That chapter becomes two and then three and so on. Before I know it I’m lost in the story. Traveling far away from my bills and my work, and the dishes I should be doing, into a world that is completely separate from mine. Books take me to places that I’ve never been, or they take me back to places that I want to visit again. For those hours that I spend reading I have forgotten all of my troubles. They are still there and must be faced, but I always approach challenges with a bit more confidence after I’ve read about some hero overcoming obstacles that are far worse than my own.
This is why I read. This is what I try to teach my kids. There are lessons in books. The more you read, the more you learn, the happier you will be. In my life there is nothing that beats sitting in my comfy leather chair, sipping tea, and reading a book with my cat curled on my lap. The only thing that could make this scene better is if it were raining outside the window.
Why do you read?