Over the long summer break, I caught up with some of the many articles in the evergrowing bundle that constantly accumulates around me.
After reading The Rumpus blog post: The urgent matter of books, a blog by Lidia Yuknavitch, I felt that the time was ripe for me to start on what I hope will be the first in a series of posts titled “Why read?”
Yuknavitch pulls no punches when writing about the value of reading. The imagery created is so very nice. Writing about the value of books, she states:
I read books.
You heard me. Those thingees with covers and pages that you hold in your hands? Smell like paper and trees? Portable brain defibrillators?
I’m not talking about college assigned books. I’m talking about the books that I found at that time. The books that spoke to me and maybe only me. The books that kept me from sleeping at night so I could read them. The books that haunted me while I walked around during the daytime. And I’m here to tell you I learned more about war, politics, and social and individual identity from reading books than any class I took, any nightly news, and fat-mouthed politician.
Yuknavitch’s words fit neatly with my own philosophy which I expound on this blog:
Books provide us with paths to worlds and realities we are unable to access in any other way. Books about war and politics which Yuknavitch talks about in this post comprise only a tiny fraction of the reading material that abounds. Proffer books on a wide range of topics to students to ensure that they develop an appetite to consume, devour and digest books and you’ll make a lasting impact on their lives, because, as Yuknavitch suggests, books have the power to stir a desire within us to change our lives.
Insitlling a love of literature and an insatiable desire to read more and more should be just one of the aims of this, The National Year of Reading!