Right Book, Right Hand, Right Time

ReadingthuRsday-R2pleasureteam note: We are delighted to reprise last year’s popular “R²: Reading on Thursday” feature. Dr. YeVette Howard, director of our college’s Quality Enhancement Plan, gets us back on track today with the first in a series of tips to help us maximize our students’ reading skills and enjoyment.

During a recent faculty professional development event, I talked about how much I truly believed the “Right Book in the Right Hand at the Right Time” made the difference in helping someone become a reader. As I prepared my remarks, I noticed my reading success was largely due to someone pointing out a “good book.” I think a lot about getting the right book into the right hand at the right time.image_mini

As a teacher and a reader, I continue to look for ways to entice readers; thus, the right book is always on my mind. Although I no longer work with children and young adolescents, I continue to read reviews and peruse book store for books I think they might like. I still go into the Children’s section of libraries and in bookstores; instantly drawn to their energy and proclamations of good books. I am currently thinking about the books for community college students who either need to be drawn back to reading or who need to become a reader. I want to be ready if someone asks me about a good book.

Quotes by Audrey Hepburn Reading -1I find I am compelled to give books for gifts; one again, hoping to give just the “right book.” On my daughter’s Christmas list, she indicated I could give her ONE book of my choice because she knew I had to give “a book to be a happy person.” She is on target, I want her to have the right book, I want my cousins to have the right book, I want my friends to have the right book, and let’s be truthful, I want everyone to have the right book.

I also want to know what might be my next right book, so I am always looking and listening when I am at the library, at the bookstore, and at the Goodwill. I listen to students, I listen to children, I listen to friends, and I listen to folks I don’t know very well as we bond quickly over books. While reading may be a quiet isolated activity, the “talking about books” is often lively. Books make unlikely conversations possible. I also strive to be in the right place when the talk turns to books.books4.jpg

All this talk of books is giving me the urge to go to the library….just to see what “right books” might be waiting.


4 comments on “Right Book, Right Hand, Right Time

  1. kencasey99 says:

    Thanks Yevette!

    The right book for me currently is Michael Lapsley’s work: Redeeming the past—he is a letter bomb survivor after he was targeted for death by the apartheid regime in South Africa.

  2. Karen Dougherty says:

    Ah, Ken…you make me feel so guilty. I am reading The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. In my defense, I did just finish Irwin Shaw’s Bread Upon the Waters, one of the most beautiful and honest books I’ve ever read. The story is a great reminder to be careful what we wish for, and a comforting reassurance for aging academics that we really do know what’s most important in our lives. Now I want to read everything that Shaw ever wrote.

    • kencasey99 says:

      I’ve never known the origin of that bread upon the waters saying though I have feed fish and ducks with great relish. Somewhere in the back of my memory there is lodged a “re-tooled proverb” from an aunt or a Sunday school teacher. “Cast your bread upon the waters and it comes back buttered.”

      • It’s Ecclesiastes 11:1: “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” (KJV) A good verse for teachers if ever there was one. The next verse might be applicable during grading: “Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.” Sounds like extra credit points to me.

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