Time to Read?

5 09 2018


PHOTO: artsci.wustl.edu

HAVE WE EVER HAD ENOUGH TIME TO READ?
FOR WOMEN OF THE 18TH CENTURY, THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING “NO”

Literary history can seem full of women frustrated with their lack of time for reading. Florence Nightingale rails in Cassandra (1852) against the way women are constantly interrupted and never protected in their study, complaining that “there is no time appointed for this purpose and the difficulty is that, in our social life, we must always be doubtful whether we ought not to be with somebody else or be doing something else.” Virginia Woolf makes this frustration into the beautiful manifesto, A Room of One’s Own (1929). Few, however, seem quite as angry about their lack of time as Catherine Talbot. She rages in her unpublished journals about not having enough time, she muses on her lack of time in her published pieces of writing, and she makes time a constant theme of her letters to Elizabeth Carter.

As friends, Talbot and Carter had much in common. Neither married, both belonged loosely to what we now think of as the Bluestocking Circle, both knew Samuel Richardson and Samuel Johnson, and both were nourished to different degrees by their Christian faith. But Talbot’s situation was particular because she grew up under the protection of her father’s friend, the Bishop Secker, and was obliged to him for including her in his busy, affluent, and often very public household. The intensity of this situation comes out at one point when Talbot erupts in fury at Carter’s failure to understand that her business is of a special degree: “You suppose that when I complained of wanting leisure I had several hours. You forget that you rise three hours earlier than I am allowed to do; that we visit 18 families at from three to 14 miles distant, and 20 I believe in Oxford, and are besides eternal riders, walkers, and airers. That I have many correspondents, and cannot for my life write short letters. And with all that crowded together, at first I had scarce one hour.”

Read further @ Literary Hub

Advertisements




Never Alone With Books

30 06 2018

A LIFE OF READING IS NEVER LONELY

Reading is at once a lonely and an intensely sociable act. The writer becomes your ideal companion—interesting, worldly, compassionate, energetic—but only if you stick with him or her for a while, long enough to throw off the chill of isolation and to hear the intelligent voice murmuring in your ear. No wonder Victorian parents used to read out loud to the whole family (a chapter of Dickens a night by the precious light of the single candle); there’s nothing lonely about laughing or crying together—or shrinking back in horror. Even if solitary, the reader’s inner dialogue with the writer—questioning, concurring, wondering, objecting, pitying—fills the empty room under the lamplight with silent discourse and the expression of emotion.

A really lovely reflection on the power of a reading life





On Reading According to a Writer

30 06 2018

EDMUND WHITE: READING IS A PASSPORT
TO THE WORLD

When I was a little child, my sister, who was nearly four years older, was astonished that Icouldn’t read. We were in my mother’s old Ford, driving around the main square of Hyde Park, and my sister pointed to a sign and said, “You honestly can’t read that?”

“No,” I said sullenly. “What does it say?”

“Graeter’s,” she announced triumphantly, the name of Cincinnati’s premier ice creammaker. “Can’t you see that? What does it say to you?” She wasn’t being mean; she was genuinely puzzled. Reading was a magical portal—once you passed through it, you couldn’t even imagine going back.

must have been four. Two years later could read, or at least “sound out” syllables (that was the method then). When I realized that I could interpret these hieroglyphics, I felt sofree, as if a whole new world had been opened to me. Now I could herar a chorus ofvoices, even those coming from other centuries and cultures. I was no longer bound to the squalid here and now, to my mother’s web-spinning of agreeable fantasies or my father’s sudden eruptions of rage, to the sweating summers of that age before airconditioning.

remember toddling into my mother’s room, where she was taking a perfumed bubble bath in the late afternoon. I announced (or maybe thought), “I’m free. I can read.”

Could I really have had such an improbable thought at age six? Or have just told myself that that thought occurred to me then? And yet remember my mother’s sweetness, the good smell, the afternoon sunlight, and my very real feeling of joyful liberation. And,quite concretely, reading has always struck me as a passport to the world, one in which characters are more real than actual people, where values are more intense than in the dim light of reality, where characters fly up into destinies rather than paddle around in ambiguity.

I felt like a blind person who’d just regained his sight. I was no longer a Cincinnatian butrather an earthling. If things were clearly written in English, there was no text that wasoff-limits. I never read the standard children’s classics. No Wind in the Willows. Onlyrecently did I get around to Treasure
Island.

Read further @ Literary Hub





Students & Reading

13 04 2018

HOW TO GET STUDENTS TO READ MORE

For as long as there have been books people have worried that the death of reading was imminent. We hear it all the timeteens don’t read anymore! But during my eleven years of teaching, I have encountered students who read with more discipline than many of the adults in their lives. I often see students carrying the latest Lamar Giles or A.S. King novel, reading at lunch, and joining our school library’s book club. So why do English teachers and school officials worry about getting students to read more?

ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO DOWNLOAD THE SERIAL READER APP AND USE IT FOR TWENTY MINUTES A DAY

PROVIDE STUDENTS TIME DURING CLASS TO READ

  1. Assign reading time as a bell ringer. 
  2. Set the expectation that when students finish an       assignment early, they should take out a book.

LEAVE OFF AT A CLIFFHANGER

TELL THEM HOW CONTROVERSIAL IT IS

  1. First, I always tell them when a book has been challenged.
  2. Next, I’ll play the concerned adult.

Read further @ BookRiot

 





Tips to your booktime reading

13 04 2018

5 TIPS FOR CALM, COZY, COMFORTING BEDTIME READING

1. KEEP IT SHORT
2. KEEP IT LIGHT
3. HAPPY ENDINGS ONLY
4. MAKE IT A PAGE-TURNER…BUT
NOT TOO MUCH OF ONE
5. KEEP IT FAMILIAR

Read further @ BookRiot





Get Students to Read

1 03 2018

HOW TO GET STUDENTS TO READ MORE

For as long as there have been books people have worried that the death of reading was imminent. We hear it all the timeteens don’t read anymore! But during my eleven years of teaching, I have encountered students who read with more discipline than many of the adults in their lives. I often see students carrying the latest Lamar Giles or A.S. King novel, reading at lunch, and joining our school library’s book club. So why do English teachers and school officials worry about getting students to read more?

1.Encourage students to download the serial reader app and use it for twenty minutes a day

2.Provide students time during class to read

3.Leave off at a cliffhanger

4.Tell them how controversial it is

Read further @ BookRiot

 





Reading Challenges

1 03 2018

50 DIY READING CHALLENGES TO MAKE 2018 THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR READING LIFE

The challenges here range from the serious to the ridiculous. The numbers are mostly arbitrary—for instance, I’ve used a lot of pick ten books. You could just as easily pick five or thirty. These ideas are jumping off points. My hope is that you find something here that excites you, and run with it.

1. Make a list of ten identities that are important to you and/or influence the way you experience the world. Now read ten books by ten different authors who share one of those identities, and/or ten different books that center and explore those identities.

2. Make a list of ten identities (race, religion, sexuality, gender, nationality, etc.) that are not yours. Now read ten books, each written by an author who holds one of those identities.

3. Pick ten countries you have always wanted to visit. Read one book that takes place in each of those countries.

4. Is there a genre you’ve always wanted to try but just haven’t gotten around to? Maybe your best friend has been telling you to try fantasy since forever but you’ve always shrugged her off. Pick the genre that’s always scared/baffled/bored you and challenge yourself to find one book in that genre that you absolutely love.

5. Read a book published each year between your birth and now. Goodreads by decade shelves can help.

6. Read a book about/that takes place in each of the fifty states.

7. Pick 10 classics you’ve always wanted to read. Now read a retelling/reinvention of each of those classics instead. Not sure where to start? Try these YA Jane Austen retellings, Alice in Wonderlandretellings, and retellings of myths and folklore.

8. Read 52 comics—one comic per week!

Read further @ BookRiot