How to Get (Young) People Reading

28 11 2018

                                                                                                  PHOTO: lITHUB.COM

WHAT ONE PERSON CAN DO TO GET PEOPLE READING

THE STORY OF ALVIN IRBY AND BARBERSHOP BOOKS

Alvin Irby never wanted to become a teacher, the same profession his mother held for over 30 years in the Little Rock, Arkansas school district in which he grew up. But the adults in Irby’s life saw potential in him that he couldn’t see in himself. “My high school principal, one day during my senior year, he told me, ‘You’re going to be a better principal than I ever was,’” Irby recalls. “And I remember looking at him and saying, ‘Never! I will never go into education!’”

Yet his principal proved prescient. Irby did go into education, and after teaching for several years, he founded Barbershop Books, a reading incentive program that connects young black boys, ages four to eight, to books in male-centered reading spaces. “Barbershop Books’ primary goal is to increase the out-of-school reading time among black boys and to help young black boys identify as readers,” Irby says. “A lot of reading programs are focused on reading skills. That’s not what Barbershop Books is about. Our program is about connecting fun books to a male-centered space, and involving black men in boys’ early reading experiences.”

The seeds for the idea were planted when Irby was a high school sophomore. “In tenth grade, I was in regular English class,” he says. “We were reading short stories and doing spelling lists. This is what we were doing in tenth grade English. And I remember being bored out of my mind.”

So he went to his guidance counselor and requested a more challenging class. “When I switched into this pre-AP class, one of the first things that I noticed when I looked around, or a question that popped in my head, was, ‘Where did all of these white people come from?’” Irby says. “My regular English class was all black. When I switched into this advanced class, all of a sudden, there were white kids everywhere. I didn’t even know they were in the school! And then I started to wonder, why are these classes divided along racial lines like this? What is that about?”

Read further @ Literary Hub





Is imagination necessary to read?

1 11 2018

                                                                                                           PHOTO: Camistok

CAN IMAGINATION GET IN THE WAY OF READING?

Some time ago, I was confronted with a major aspect of reading, something we aren’t conscious of. A friend of mine – a non-reader, by the way – explained to me how he could never get interested in reading. Simply because he had the worst difficulty ever: in his mind, he couldn’t imagine the universe, the characters’ physical qualities or any room that was being described in a book. Therefore, he eventually just gave up picking up books.

This intrigued me. So I started thinking about it. I’ve read books since I can remember, so I can say that my imagination is “well-exercised,” right? As readers, what can we say about these non-readers and the people who choose watching TV over reading? We say they choose to do so because they’re lazy – they refuse to use their imagination because “it’s so hard.” And that’s what popped into my head when I heard my friend complaining about this. But then, something stopped me.

Read further @ BookRiot





Deep-reading Process & Our Brain

30 09 2018

                                                                                              Photo: calmmoment.com

WHAT DOES IMMERSING YOURSELF IN
A BOOK DO TO YOUR BRAIN?

Only connect.

–E.M. Forster

The act of taking on the perspective and feelings of others is one of the most profound, insufficiently heralded contributions of the deep-reading processes. Proust’s description of “that fertile miracle of communication effected in solitude” depicts an intimate emotional dimension within the reading experience: the capacity to communicate and to feel with another without moving an inch out of our private worlds. This capacity imparted by reading—to leave and yet not leave one’s sphere—is what gave the reclusive Emily Dickinson what she called her personal “frigate” to other lives and lands outside her perch above Main Street in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The narrative theologian John S. Dunne described this process of encounter and perspective taking in reading as the act of “passing over,” in which we enter into the feelings, imaginings, and thoughts of others through a particular kind of empathy: “Passing over is never total but is always partial and incomplete. And there is an equal and opposite process of coming back to oneself.” It is a beautifully apt description for how we move from our inherently circumscribed views of the world to enter another’s and return enlarged. In Love’s Mind, his numinous book on contemplation, Dunne expanded Proust’s insight: “That ‘fruitful miracle of a communication effected in solitude’ may be already a kind of learning to love.” Dunne saw the paradox that Proust described within reading—in which communication occurs despite the solitary nature of the reading act—as an unexpected preparation for our efforts to come to know other human beings, understand what they feel, and begin to change our sense of who or what is “other.” For theologians such as John Dunne and writers such as Gish Jen, whose lifework illumines this principle in fiction and nonfiction alike, the act of reading is a special place in which human beings are freed from themselves to pass over to others and, in so doing, learn what it means to be another person with aspirations, doubts, and emotions that they might otherwise never have known.

read futher @ Literary Hub





Madame Bovary: Most Recommended Book by Famous Authors

30 09 2018

WHICH BOOKS DO FAMOUS AUTHORS READ AND RECOMMEND MOST?

Everyone loves a list—especially a list of books. To that end, people are always asking famous writers to give them lists of books they love, and famous writers are always doing it, because again, who doesn’t like a list of books, and especially when those books are your own favorites, and you get to talk about them again. While considering the proliferation of the high-profile literary listicle, I started wondering which books famous authors most often touted among their favorites. And as often happens, once I started wondering, I soon knew I was in for some math.

I looked at 68 lists made by famous authors, from the classic (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway) to the contemporary (Yaa Gyasi, Mary Gaitskill, Maggie Nelson, George Saunders), and kept track of which books they recommended most often. The results were interesting—not particularly because of the most recommended books (many of them are pretty predictable) but because of the details—the groupings, the exclusions, the agreements between authors you wouldn’t necessarily think had similar taste.

The winner, with 9 mentions:
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
(Recommended by Ernest Hemingway, Sloane Crosley, Bret Easton Ellis, John Irving, Mary Gatiskill, Helen Fielding, Philip Roth, Claire Messud, Lorrie Moore)

Read further @ Literary Hub





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





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





Reading Multiple Books

6 02 2018

5 TIPS FOR READING MULTIPLE BOOKS AT THE SAME TIME

1. Read different genres
2. Read different books at different places
3. Read through different mediums
4. Read for your mood – not for your TBR list
5. Take all the time you need

Read further @ BookRiot





BookIsh People & Their Reading Distraction

6 02 2018

HOW TO CURE READER’S DISTRACTION

Definition

Reader’s Distraction refers to an illness specifically afflicting bookish people, and is characterized by the inability to get through one book without setting it down to pick up another. This disorder typically degenerates into a vicious cycle whereby a reader never finishes a book, but is constantly purchasing new ones.

People who suffer from Reader’s Distraction usually exhibit the following symptoms:

  • TBR and TBF (to be finished) stacks that go on for days
  • Bookmarks in almost every book owned, but never placed toward the end
  • Weekly or even daily book hauls
  • The inability to refuse a book sale
  • Complete ignorance of story conclusions
  • A leaning tower of bedside books

Read further for the treatment advice @ BookRiot





Look Out for a Richer Reading Experience

6 02 2018

1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual and use that time to read a poem.

2. Visit your library — especially if it’s been awhile — and ask a librarian for a recommendation.

3. Let go of one reading prejudice and never think about it again.

4. Read one book in a genre you think you despise.

5. Ask someone you respect for a book suggestion, and read it right away.

6. Give away the book that’s been on your TBR pile the longest.

7. Volunteer for an organization that promotes literacy.

8. Read a book that looks like it will make you feel uncomfortable.

9. Commit to a reading challenge.

10. Cull ten books from your collection and donate them without bringing any new books home.

11. Read out loud to someone you love.

12. Make a list of the ways reading intersects with love in your life.

13. Listen to the audiobook of a book you DNF’d years ago.

14. Read your best friend’s favourite book, no matter what it is.

15. Dog-ear a page.

16. Write in the margins.

17. Ask your oldest relative or friend their favourite book. Read it right away and tell them.

18. Read outside.

19. Listen to an audiobook while you run errands.

20. Read a play. Let yourself take the time to imagine how it might be staged.

21. Reread a book you hated in high school. Reread it twice.

22. Apologize to someone you’ve been snobby or snarky to about books.

23. Read a book by an author from a country you’ve never imagined visiting.

24. Read a collection of poetry by a single poet, front-to-back, twice.

25. Give your favourite book from childhood at the next baby shower you attend.

26. Give your favourite book from your 20s to your favourite college student.

27. Read a book by a person who doesn’t look like you.

28. Read a book by a person who wouldn’t understand you in a million years.

29. Read one page of a holy book from a faith you were not raised with.

30. Listen to a podcast about books.

31. Attend the next reading in your town, even (especially!) if you don’t know the author.

32. Write a handwritten letter to a living author you adore.

33. Visit the grave of a dead author you adore.

34. Visit a place you’ve only ever read about in books.

35. Crack a spine. Go on. Do it.

36. Read a superhero comic, especially if you haven’t in years (or ever).

37. Watch an adaptation of a book you like and try to like it for what it is.

38. Memorize a poem.

39. Reread the book you loved best when you were sixteen.

40. Have a conversation about books with someone you’ve never talked books with before.

Source: BookRiot





How to gain a Bookish New Year

13 01 2018


1. Preorder one book per month (or every other month or every third month) for the new year. Enjoy the surprise of the gift you purchased for yourself when it arrives.

2. Pick a series of books from childhood you’ve always meant to read or want to revisit. Prioritize that reading experience.

3. Buy or make a new bookmark. You can also print yourself a new one, if you’d like.

4. Choose a new planner and set it up with not just your calendar, but also a to-be-read list and a read list. Get creative!

5. Treat yourself to a new tote bag for lugging your hauls to and from the public library.

Read further @ BookRiot





Strategies to Help Struggling Young Readers

13 01 2018

Four Teaching Moves That Promote A Growth Mindset In All Readers

Reading can be a very fraught topic for parents, teachers and students. Strong reading skills are essential for accessing later curriculum, so teachers put a lot of emphasis on it early. But the pressure and angst of getting students reading on schedule can sap the joy out of an activity that many young children love. At its heart, reading is a way to access stories, which in turn make readers wonder about the world. In the race to get kids reading, it can be easy to treat reading like a procedure, instead of the complicated experience that it is.

Read further @ KQEDnews





Read More Books in 2018

12 01 2018


It’s resolution time! Indeed it is. How many am I going to read this time around. Set my goals on 30 on GoodReads. Last year it was 20 and I succeeded. Purely literature, no non-fiction that has to do with work. So I stepped up my reading. What’s your reading resolution for this year?
Let see what Jessica Roy advices us over at LATimes.

—————–

It’s resolution time.
Will this be the year you hit the treadmill for an hour every day, make all your meals at home, learn a new language and max out your retirement savings accounts? Perhaps. But more often than not, New Year’s resolutions are abandoned before the first gym payment goes through on your credit card.

This year, make a better resolution: Read more books. In fact, think of it less as a resolution, and more as a belated holiday gift to yourself.

Reading more was my resolution back in 2013. I realized I’d read maybe three books in the previous year. I joined Goodreads, a social media site for book lovers and got an L.A. Public Library card. I asked for an e-reader for Christmas that year. I joined a book club.

I set a goal to read 36 books. I wasn’t too hard on myself as to what counted as reading a book. Audiobooks counted. Cookbooks counted, if I had read through most of the recipes. Graphic novels and comic books counted. Books I got halfway through and then abandoned for lack of interest counted.

Getting back into reading books has been one of the singularly most rewarding things I have done for myself in my adult life. I carry my Kindle everywhere, which means I always have something to do when I’m in a waiting room. And getting into a warm bed with a good book is one of life’s singular great pleasures.

So do it. Read more books. Here are some ways to help you get started.

Read further @ LATimes