professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Chor-ing Bor-ing Reading

Thanks to Roger Sutton for this link to a piece about author Nick Hornsby: I could not agree more. This is why choice is so fundamental in reading. When kids are forced to read a book, and more often than not that book is of no interest, then we make reading a chore and a bore. When we open the door to choice, though, the chore and bore ought to dissipate rather quickly.

"Hornby argued even children should not be compelled to read books they do not want to, saying setting targets of books they "should" read is counterproductive." It never fails that when I meet someone outside of my profession and tell them I was an English major and an English teacher and not a literature professor, I often get a facial reaction that indicates I am emitting an unpleasant odor. There are way too many people out there who were told to read this book or that play for their own good only to discover that the reading came to NO good.

Here is Nick Hornsby's challenge: ""My real campaign is to get everybody - adult, kids, everybody - to read something that they're loving. And if they're not loving it, stop reading it." Would it not be terrific if this challenge were ours as well?

I raced through Jack Gantos' THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA yesterday morning. It was never a chore nor a bore. Instead, it struck a resonant chord within me, made me laugh, made me weep. I opened the book in the first place because I have already raced through EVERY SINGLE BOOK Jack has written (LOVE CURSE OF THE RUMBAUGHS not to be missed; ditto DESIRE LINES). And I will read the next one as well because this one touched me deeply.

Most of the books on top of my TBR stack (or, more correctly, on the TBR shelves) are there by my own choice. A few are there for work (review) purposes) and sometimes I have to force myself to read them. However, the books I elect to read are ones that promise a terrific time between the covers.
Tags: bore, choice, chore, reading
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