professornana (professornana) wrote,

I'll Take the Fifth (Virtue)

Today, Karin Perry and I will drive about 400 miles from here to McAllen, Texas. Later we will administer the TExES practice test to some of our students. Tomorrow we will exhibit at the Region I Library Expo where Donalyn Miller will give the keynote speech. Then, we will pack back up and head back home. Along the way, we will discuss books. Is anyone surprised by this? You should not be if you know me or Karin or Donalyn or anyone in my reading COMMUNITY. While reading may be a solitary act at one point int he process, it does not remain solitary for me and for countless others. After we read (and sometimes WHILE we are reading), we want to talk to someone about the book. I can still recall a lengthy voice mail left by a friend when he read love you forever for the first time and spoke to my machine (I was not home, and this was before cell phones kept us connected) about the recent death of his mother and how he had held her in his arms. I can hear Colby Sharp talking about a book he loves so much he has to share it with others. Katherine Sokolowski, Cindy Beth Minnich, and Franki Sibberson constantly talk about what they are reading or ask suggestions from us within the community (and we all, BTW, belong to many communities).

Some communities are temporary; some are more permanent. Every single time I have served on a book selection committee, a community has formed. Many of us still stay connected (Sisters of the BCE) and still talk "shop" about books. My classes are temporary communities where we are connected by some common purpose for a semester. However, there are alumni of our program who still talk books every time we meet. I guess it is hard to let go of a community completely. After all, we were connected through our mutual love of books and reading. That does not dissipate even though the opportunity to come together and meet is more rare.

Some communities are FTF; some are online; some are hybrids. Karin Perry and I just began an online course we are offering through YALSA on Reading with a Critical Eye. We will be connected for 6 weeks in an online format. However, a few months ago we had the chance to meet one of our former "students" and catch up with her. And while I love (and prefer) FTF, having a way to connect online allows me to be a member of so many more communities. The more the merrier.

So, we have noted 5 virtues thus far. In the next couple of days, we will complete the 7 virtue blog posts. However, I do not think we have nearly scratched the surface of the virtues of books and readers. It is a wonderful world to live in.
Tags: books, community, reading, virtues
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