For lack of a more elaborate explanation – I love books. Forget the bars, the movies, television reruns. I love to read. Lately, my life is mundane, boring and let’s face it – a little crappy. But at the end of the day, I’m just thankful that I get to come home, lay in my bed and completely lose myself in a story. Whether I’m embracing the greatness that is The Great Gatsby, crying my eyes out to Marley & Me, or wishing I was friends with Harry Potter, I find something completely calming about being able to lose track of time, and ultimately real life, when I sit down and read. It makes me happy, it keeps me sane, and I think it’s truly a gift to be this in love with reading.
I’m currently reading the Twilight series, by Stephenie Meyer. I know, I know…a little late, right? Fantasy is SO not my thing – I never liked Lord of the Rings or any of those things. Someone finally convinced me to read Harry Potter, and I read all seven books one summer. I fell in love, and I talk about Harry on a regular basis…but even still – vampires? SOOOO not my thing. Yeah right. I sucked it up and started reading Twilight because my cooperating teacher at the school I’m student teaching at had a copy. Needless to say, I’m hooked. I’ve read the first two books in two weeks. Honestly, that’s not really impressive. But considering my full time schedule and my early bed time, I’m quite proud of myself.
I still don’t consider fantasy to be my favorite genre – or even a genre I’m really that interested in. I just think that, sometimes, a series or a book will come along and be the exception to the rule. Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling have seriously changed my entire outlook on reading. Never in my life have I thought it was possible to care so much about the well-being of a fictional character. Never in my life have I turned off Grey’s Anatomy because I thought it was boring in comparison to New Moon. Either I’m going crazy (because who turns off Grey’s?!), or Meyer is just brilliant. I’ll hope it’s the latter.
The best thing about this is that I’ve got my 8th graders excited about reading. No, not all of them. But, my cooperating teacher and I have ordered extra copies of Twilight because so many girls are interested in it. Seeing seven or eight copies drifting around the school is now causing more and more girls to be interested in it. Even the girls who HATE reading have been asking if they can take their books home and read them outside of enrichment class. Success! I don’t even know if I want to teach, but the fact that I can get even a few girls interested in a book that is more than 200 pages long is an accomplishment in itself. I’m following the advice of my college professors – READ in your classroom. Always have your own book on the desk. It will spur interest, and eventually you may have to track down six more copies of the second book in the series because so many girls are finishing the first one so quickly 🙂
THIS is the one thing I actually love about what I’m doing right now. I’m “cool” to the kids…not because I let them get away with things, or because I talk about parties and drinking and rap stars. Rather, I’m cool because they’re coming down to my room during their study hall just to tell me how many pages they went home and read last night, and how many they’re going to read tonight. I can talk to them about books – not as a teacher, not as a student, but just as another fellow book-nerd. Happiness.