professornana (professornana) wrote,

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On the road again

In a few hours, the BH and I will head over to San Antonio. There will be stops along the way, of course (it is about a 5 hour drive). We have our favorite places along the route, one we have been driving for more than 40 years. It is a strong possibility we will stop for some BBQ at the Oakridge Smokehouse. There are two Buccees along the way, and at least one of them will allow us to gas up the car and load up on caffeine. Tonight, a visit to the Riverwalk is a strong possibility. We have our routines and our favorites. But from time to time, we take a chance. We ask a local for a recommendation or pull up to a place along the way and give it a try. Sometimes this ends in delight and sometimes not-so-much. But we do try to discover new stuff. It keeps us and the trip fresh.

Is that not the way I read, too, I wonder? I have my favorites in terms of genres, forms, formats, authors, etc. But I do try to wander outside of my comfort zone and try something new. Sometimes that results in delight, sometimes not-so-much. But, if it were not for a willingness to try something new, I might never have found magical realism in YA books. I would have missed Francesca Lia Block and AS King among others. If I had never given GNs a look, think of all I would have missed. If my husband were not such as sic-fi afficianado, I never would have ventured into this subgenre. I would have missed many fine dystopian novels and the works of Asimov and Bradbury among others.

How do we encourage our kids to try something new? Think about how we introduce new foods to small children? Do we force something new onto them or permit them to give things a taste? Do we not try to tie something new to something they already like? We make connections, of course. That is part of the thinking behind Reading Ladders: how to connect one book to another to another. Every time I read, I make those connections, book to book. I also think about reader connections: which person I know will love to read this book next? Connections are important.

So, as we head out on this road trip, I will read with my ears (audio); I have packed a couple of GNs for reading in the evenings. We will stop along the way and perhaps discover something new or stick to the tried and true: we have that choice. So should kids.
Tags: connections
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