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