Saturday, July 14, 2018

For the sheer joy...

Re-posted from 2009 because it is really good advice:

Bob at Wilderness Fandango offers "Bob's One Big Awesomely Important Tip on Reading" and he is absolutely right.
.... My mother instilled in me the joy of reading when I was a child. She made sure we visited the local library often, and she let us linger there as long as wanted. The point is, long before I knew that reading was good for me, reading was giving me pleasure. And that, my friend, is the key. ....
Here's my advice. Reading is never going to make it to the top of your to-do list if it's merely a chore, a good-for-me duty, like brushing teeth or watching PBS. What makes a kid love reading is the sheer joy of it, and what's going to make an adult love reading is for him or her to discover that joy also. You might say, it's time to start thinking like a kid again!

Now, admittedly, it's harder for adults to discover joy than it is for kids. We're jaded. We think in terms of future pay-off, kids think in terms of present experience. So this is going to take a little shift in thinking for some. The question you need to ask is, what kind of book is going to give me joy? ....

I'm serious. Read for pleasure. Read for joy. Read to be enthralled.

One last point. You may not have ever stopped to think about this, but all your favorite movies are stories. That's what they are. Stories. Story-telling is perhaps the art form that undergirds all other art forms, it is a built-in inclination of all humanity. So if by now you're wondering what kind of book might give you pleasure (and I hope you are), my answer is, it's probably some kind of cracking good yarn, that's what kind. And by the way, your local library is full of these, for every reading level. .... [more]
In my case it was my father who read to me (even after I could read — I told him I could hear better when he read), took me regularly to the library, and only resisted briefly when I moved from juvenile books to the adult fiction. I know I am repeating myself, but there is no better gift a parent can give a child than the love of reading.

Wilderness Fandango: Bob's One Big Awesomely Important Tip on Reading