So, we will celebrate quietly. Later in the week I will have other celebrations with family and friends. I like birthdays that stretch over days.On Monday, the department treated me to cake and ice cream and gave me a crown and boa and a declaration announcing I am now Queen of Library Science. What a wonderful group of people I am fortunate to have as colleagues and friends. And I do plan to wear the crown and boa on special regal occasions.
But on to my usual topic: books and reading. If you are on Twitter, you have seen the well wishes for the publication of a book: book birthdays are celebrated widely on Twitter. I wonder how we celebrate book birthdays in our classes. I know @mrschureads celebrates the release of new books. So does @donalynbooks. I know there are countless others who make the publication of a book a celebration. And I know without a doubt that the students in those schools and classrooms and libraries share the excitement of a new book.
If we want our kids to have positive feelings about books and reading, we need to make these causes of celebration. I remember when I began giving kids "free reading Fridays" when I was teaching middle school. I did so with reverence; it was a treat to have that 45 minutes just to read each and every week. And kids treated it with reverence. They policed their own behavior and heaven forbid someone start acting up. They would admonish the culprit before I could. Reading all period was special, a privilege. New books were announced before they were added to the classroom library shelves. A new book was a reason to celebrate.
I hope those kids who passed through my classes are still reverent when it comes to books and reading. Even though I am grown old, the magic is still there each and every time I open a new book. So, celebrate a book today. Cel-e-brate good books, c'mon!