I love to read. Really. It’s almost like an addiction. Actually, I often think it really is an addiction. If I pick up a book, I have a hard time putting it down until I have finished. At least I read fast.
But when I pick up a book, I get absorbed in the world the words create in front of me. I am completely engrossed. Time stands still. The only world becomes the book in front of me.
Maybe I love reading because it takes my complete attention. My mind can’t wander. I can’t attempt to multitask. It’s hard for the thoughts of what I really need to accomplish to be in the forefront of my mind. It’s the perfect escape. (See, just like an addiction.)
I didn’t always love to read. I mean, I kind of liked it, but I didn’t really love it. Until third grade. And then we had a reading contest for the first time. The goal? To read the most pages. You may not know this, but I am really competitive. I wanted to win that contest. Our pages read were tracked on the bulletin board with fun shapes. I’m not sure what it was in third grade. One year it was balloons. During that contest, I became hooked. (And I did read the most pages to win the contest. What did I win? I have no idea – but I read the most pages!) And that’s how I got hooked on reading. (It’s also why I am torn about competition in the classroom; it worked for me. I know it doesn’t for all students, but that’s another blog post.)
My dad used to take my sister and me to the library all the time. I started in the fiction section of the children’s library. Then I discovered magazines and the non-fiction section. I loved Odyssey magazine which was a kid’s magazine about space. (It still exists, but with a broader science focus now.) I checked out astronomy books from the kids section. Then I ventured to the main part of the library. I would check out stacks of books at a time. I checked out every astronomy and space book in the library at least once. When I was in college, I would spend my free time roaming among the stacks of the library there. I loved grabbing a collection of short stories and reading a few between classes.
I just love books. I have to ration myself and how many books I read. My favorite genres are science fiction and astronomy and space non-fiction, but I have rarely met a book I didn’t like. Right now, I enjoy reading free books on my Kindle. I guess it heralds back to my library days of checking out stacks of books at a time. Sometimes, I’ll buy a book. I read an awesome book earlier this year – The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements. This was the perfect book to read for a chemistry teacher, and it gave me so many fun stories to share with my students.
So ask me what I am reading, and it may change from day to day. Or not – depending on how busy I am. I might be reading a free sci-fi/fantasy book, or maybe re-reading a classic like Pride or Prejudice or Lord of the Rings, or engulfing myself in the pursuit of new science knowledge. I even read books about teaching sometimes! So ask me what I am reading; you may be surprised (or not) at the answer.