Monday, June 25, 2007

My Love of Reading

I was very studious. I loved to read, I loved to learn and, appropriately enough, I became a teacher. I begin each term by telling my students that I am a "book freak." I hope that this appellation might make being an avid reader more acceptable to my very "cool-conscious" middle and high school students. It also helps to make a connection with those students in my classes who love books as much as I do. As summer break approaches I look forward, with something very akin to a dog salivating over hamburger meat, the books which I have stacked on my bedside table.

As a teacher, I have talked to my students about books I am reading, about the books they are reading, and I believe that I have led some reluctant readers to the joys of immersing oneself in the beauty of words with a well placed suggestion. I have not, however, enticed my boys and I deeply regret this. I have provided them with wonderful books and I have read to them. Neither of them are readers, although I secretly pray that their sister will be. My sorrow is that I have not been able to convey the excitement I feel when words are crafted into art, or the joy I can feel when a character is real and true, or the thrill of an intricate plot.

I can only hope that, for them, reading will be an acquired taste like full-bodied dry red wines or steamed lobster with drawn butter: delights I have enjoyed only since becoming an adult. And perhaps that is best. Starting to read avidly as adults, they will never know the irrational fear that they could read everything there is and have to live without something to read.

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