I used to be the kid who got lost in dozens of books in the summertime. I used any time or place I could to open up my latest Judy Blume or Babysitters Club book: backyard, beach, bedroom, a visit to Gramma’s, the waiting room at the doctor’s office… I loved to read, to get sucked into a great story and make new friends on the pages between the two covers.
But then I grew up.
I had to read certain books by a certain date, had to read text, digest it and spit it back up on tests. (That’s a funny image!) I had to bone up on the latest educational trends, keep up with the times, and somewhere in there I lost the desire to read for enjoyment. Sad, right?
Well, that all started to change last summer when I decided to read one, just ONE book for the pure enjoyment of it. And it couldn’t be one of my old favorites. (I often would pick up my childhood favorite Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret and read it in a few hours just to fill the need to read for enjoyment.) No – I was determined to read a “big-girl” book. So, I asked around for suggestions and when I asked my wonderful sister-in-law, a high school LA teacher in Exeter, NH, she and I started to stir something up. Kristina and I quickly came up with a plan to start a book group for teachers and anyone else who was ready to take on a great book over the summer. It was an exciting first step!
Last year we read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, but we didn’t just read it, we experienced it with food, indulgence, yoga, outings and lots of great online and face-to-face discussion. This year, we are doing the same with The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The wiki is live and ready to accept members!
It’s so important to remember what it means to read a book for the pure enjoyment of it. Not so you can log minutes or study for a test, but to take a break and get lost in something new for a while. It’s something we need to remember for our students too… This is yet another example of how we need to lead by example.
So…. my Kindle is loaded up and I am excited to start this book! Please join us and tell your friends. No matter where you are in the world, we can read and enjoy this book together.