Yes. You read that correctly; I, the bibliophile, the book hoarder, the literary mad woman, sometimes don’t feel like reading. Sometimes there are other things I want to do, or sometimes what’s in front of me just isn’t holding my attention. Sometimes I actually just CAN NOT sit still and look at words for another minute.
It doesn’t pain me at all to admit that sometimes I simply find reading BORING.
And it’s in these times that I most feel for school children because the number 1 cause of my own disinterest is the same thing that causes many others to become disinterested; expectations. I set myself reading goals and challenges; the idea is to mix up what I’m reading, make sure I don’t fall into too big of a rut but in reality sometimes my challenges can seem daunting and I just shut down.
This month i am tasked with reading a novel of 500+ pages. Easy enough but I don’t have many so my options withered down to a Stephen King novel or Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant. While I want badly to read the books I have chosen I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by the task. King’s The Stand is HUGE and intimidating. Blood & Beauty is beautifully written but I can’t lose myself in it. On top of that i have blog posts that need writing when I’m finished (and some that I still just need to man up and write). It feels like work. And I don’t want to do it.
In school teachers would often assign me books that I simply never read. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still me, I still read the vast majority of what was handed to me, but there were times when i couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s the pressure. This book needs reading by this date and then you have to analyze it and review it and do a project and some more shit. Nothing kills a reading vibe like what schools do to reading. And we wonder why many young people view reading as something that is always a chore, always boring, always work.
The first time I was introduced to a book it was in my Grandmothers lap. The next few hundred times i saw a book it was in my grandmothers lap. By the time I got to school and teachers started making reading boring I was already well aware that reading was most certainly not a chore. It saddens me that many children don’t have that experience, that the first book they get to read is from their school and there’s work attached.
Only the parents can remedy this. Read. There is time to read. Read a book instead of watching TV tonight. Read a book to your child instead of their morning cartoons. Read a book to relax in the evening. Make the time because it is the single most important thing you could ever let your child see.