I think many of us feel this way – we can read and read and never in our lifetime read everything we’d like to read. I experience this feeling more and more every day, at least now I can cope with it better. When I was a kid, I would cry, actually cry, when I thought about how many books (and magazines and newspapers) that I would never get to read. Still, to this day, I carry a book with me almost obsessively just in case I get a few spare minutes.
On the flipside of this world view (and yes, I do think affection for the written word applies a certain angle on the world), many of my students do not read; some of them have NEVER read an entire book. I find this fact both shocking and not shocking, given our lack of attention to education in the last twenty years. But I did find this reality very sad because I mourn for my students who do not read; I mourn because they will never meet those great characters or visit those wonderful places but mostly because they will probably never find out things about themselves that would help them become more of the people they want to be. At least that’s what I’ve gotten from books, and I wish that for them. So I make them read, in every class possible, they read something more than just textbooks. And I pray that a couple of them get bitten by reading and start carrying books with them. It doesn’t happen often, but it can happen.
As for me, today, I am working on way too many books. Here’s what I’ve got in progress:
The Writing Class by Jincy Willett
The latest issue of Mother Earth News
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama (with my students)
Faith of my Fathers by John McCain and Mark Salter (with my students)
If You Want to Write by Barbara Ueland
and other bits and pieces throughout the day. Even my list of what I AM reading is overwhelming, never mind what I could read.
What about you? How do you feel about reading? What are you reading? Do share, please.