As a former English teacher in a public school, I always wanted to inspire my students to read. It was a never ending process of being a book salesman. I wanted them to read, not because they had to for a required assignment, but because they wanted to for their own personal tastes and interests.
I can remember a simple trick used by my high school librarian, many many years ago. She sold new paperback books to students– usually a Cardinal Edition for 35 cents in the 1960’s. She got me hooked on reading Agatha Christie mystery books. I kept coming back for more. And I always made sure that I came to school with some spare change in my pockets.
I was truly surprised, recently, by what one of my readers shared with me. My 25 year collection of poetry was finally published this year. This reader bought a copy of my book, Writing in Sand. She told me that since receiving it, she has been reading it nearly every evening with one of her granddaughters. They take turns reading a line of one of my poems aloud to each other.
I can’t tell you how excited that makes me feel. As a teacher of over thirty years, I was constantly encouraging my students to read. I wrote poetry in my spare time while teaching 14 and 15-year-olds. And now that I have retired from the classroom and dedicated my time to writing, I feel as though I’m still inspiring Young Readers to cultivate a lifelong habit of reading. At least one grandparent, and grandchild are coming together to read to each other.
Poetry can do that for us– pull us in and keep us coming back for more.
Thanks for dropping by to read this post. What do you think? What experiences have you had with reading? Comments are welcome. I’d love to hear from you.