Monday, March 08, 2010

Reading is FUNdamental



A
library is a hospital for the mind.
~ Anonymous ~

Of all the diversions of life, there is none so proper to fill up its empty spaces as the reading of useful and entertaining authors.
~ Joseph Addison ~

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Joseph Addison ~

He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter.
By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes.

~ Barrow ~


Do you remember learning to read? I wish I had a memory of the joy of discovery. I remember first grade as a wonderful time. They didn't have kindergarten in our little towns in Arkansas in those days, and I was one of the youngest in my class every year, beginning first grade when I was still 5.

I don't remember when reading became such a huge part of my life. I don't remember going to the library when I was really young. I remember my first library card in junior high and the discovery of my first series - Beany Malone books by Lenora Mattingly Weber.

I remember 7th grade when I kept a list of every book I read, rating each one with stars. Then there was 8th grade in a new school when I aleved my loneliness by picking up a "romance for young moderns" from the library every day after school on the way to the bus. I tried to convince my mom that they were educational, because they each highlighted a different career! That was also the year I joined Library Club and spent a lot of time in there.

Then there was the summer vacation that we went on a pontoon boot for the day - me with my swimsuit on, sunglasses, and my book. I even remember it was "To Kill a Mockingbird."





As an elementary ed. major in college, I stood in long lunch lines, reading as I waited. The assignment was to read up to 50 (for an A) children's books. I read 85, most of them novels. That was the most enjoyable semester ever. That summer I took "Adolescent Lit" and read about 25 in a 4 week session, whenever I wasn't working or in other classes - such as Ernest Hemingway and Shakespeare courses. Those weren't as much fun.

My love affair with books has only increased. I have been known to read as I walk. I always have a book with me if I may have a few minutes to wait for an appointment or for school to be out. I've revealed before that I read as I exercise at the gym.

Kristen was reading by the time she was 4 - I don't even know how it happened. So it has been fun watching Care Bear become a reader. This year she is in second grade and reading at least at 4th grade level. She has an amazing teacher this year who did this fabulous project with the kids.

They did a unit on penguins because she has a friend who is in Antarctica - the kids loved this unit. The culminating project was a very professionally done book. Care Bear was SO excited when it arrived this week - excited especially to show me the front cover because ---




---she did the cover drawing.


Each student in the class chose one of the penguin types to write about and illustrate. Care Bear has read the book to each one of us separately - here are her pages. Her penmanship is as good as her writing and drawing!












Now Feisty, who is in kindergarten, is making good progress with figuring out the wonderful world of words. I love watchin
g her and listening to her sound out her nightly book from school.

The twins haven't had as much book interaction with me as I would like. They have a very hard time sitting still long enough to go through a book. But yesterday we had a great time pointing to words and pictures. The process has begun!

I am so thankful I have such an enjoyable "habit!"



27 comments:

Gigi said...

LOVE it!!! I was an early reader as well and still have my "nose stuck in a book" much of my spare time! It is a habit that will serve them well...

Beautiful book, lovely artwork and exquisite penmanship!!

Sharon Lynne said...

What a great job on the book!

Diane@Diane's Place said...

My Mom and all my sisters and I were/are voracious readers, and Jessica has followed in our footsteps. Emmy loves to be read to, and I hope the tradition of being an early and voracious reader continues with her. Most of my knowledge has come from books, as I'm sure yours did as well.

Congrats to Care Bear that her artwork was chosen as the cover illustration! :o)

Amy said...

Love the book!

I have an ongoing love affair with book too. Anything and everything I can get my hands on.

Needled Mom said...

As a child I was not a reader. I have grown to enjoy it as I have gotten older. I think that I just had too much energy when I was younger to sit still long enough to read. I would, however, sit and make up math problems all day and solve them. Guess my mind was more towards the math/science mentality.

I know that you have always been so good with taking the girls to the library and introducing them to the wonderful world of reading.

PEA said...

I don't remember the actual time that I started to read but I do remember how much I loved reading. When I was a young girl, we didn't have a permanent library in town but every month for a week a bookmobile would come and park on the school grounds and you could take out books which you would then have to return the next month when it came back. I always looked forward to that and would check out as many books as my little arms could carry:-) Mom was an avid reader and between the two of us, we always had a book in our hands. I remember going to camp and spending most of my days laying out in the sun reading. After I got married and had my own home, I would be cooking and reading at the same time! lol My oldest son Shawn takes after me and my mom, he loves to read. Corey, not so much, he takes after his father for that! lol xoxo

Midlife Mom said...

I love, love, love to read and always have!We didn't have a library in our little town but did have one where we went every Friday for groceries. I think the most you could take out of the library was 8 books at a time and I always took the whole 8! Loved reading especially during summer vacation when there wasn't that much to do. It is a great pasttime and I think I will always LOVE it!

Great artistry and penmanship!! Excellent!

Glenda said...

Oh, I love books, too! Could spend a fortune - if I had it - at the bookstore! Some of your memories made me remember similar experiences: starting to first grade at the age of five . . . reading all those children's books in college . . . enjoying books with my children and now grandchildren. I still love children's books and receive a beautiful one for Christmas from my sister each year.

I enjoyed reading about your journey with books. It's great that you are passing on such a good "habit" to your grandchildren.

Great job, Care Bear!

Robin said...

Many of my books are like best friends to me. The first ones I remember in the 1st or 2nd grade was the Little House on the Prarie series followed by The Bobbsey Twins, The Happy Hollisters and Nancy Drew. In 8th grade I read Gone With the Wind and was totally mesmerized. In high school I read every book Victoria Holt ever wrote and anything I could find at the library. Reading has enhanced my life more than I could ever say.
I loved reading about your reading journey too. And like you I am doing everything I can to pass this wonderful gift on to my grandchildren.

nannykim said...

Oh, I can't believe you don't remember when you first went to the library etc.

I hated reading UNTIL the library was discovered with all of the mystery stories. After that time I was hooked! Prior to that I loved being read to, but it was a chore to try to read until THEN.

Nadine said...

I love reading also. I'm not sure when it happened either because I always loved reading stories.

Her book is beautiful and what a treasure to keep and for her children to one day read.

Linda said...

I am right there with on this one Dawn. I refer to myself as a "bookaholic." Can't go into a book store without buying one. Can't count the number of books on the "to read" shelf - and still I buy!! And then I go to the library and can't resist checking out more books than I can possibly read in two weeks. I just love the feel and smell of books.
It is a joy to be able to see our grandchildren sharing that love. It's a wonderful thing!

Having said all that, it is one of the reasons I simply have to cut back on this blogging time. I'm not reading as much as I used to!

Becky said...

What a great project. Such pride in becoming "first time authors". That will be a great memory for all of those children. Love that teacher!

And Care Bear ... your pages are great. Such interesting facts you found. And the illustrations are beautiful. Good job. I give you an A+

Hootin' Anni said...

Amazing art...so wonderful to have something written in long hand and published!!! What a thrill.

And you my friend, you look very dapper on the pontoon!!

I'm gonna go play some catch up now...I've missed a lot.

Hope your day treats you well.

Hootin' Anni said...

You KNOW what I wrote earlier was all in jest. I'm thrilled to see your determination and weight loss!

So, I will change my statement and say you musta had a pair of my denim capri pants on...well, then it'd be shorts for you?

I give up. [kidding more!!!]

grammy said...

I just read your last post and this one....no small feat (o: Love it that you love reading and passing it on to the girls. Me too! She has wonderful hand writing. Not so much my 1st grader. Sometimes I think it has a lot to do with what the teacher lets them get away with.
The hair was just great...so funny.
We also have lots of plays put on for us.

Would you tell care bear that I think she did such a great job (o:

Ms. Kathleen said...

I simply can't imagine not reading. It is like breathing. It is simply something I don't think I have ever been able not to do....

Love the book! I have several my kids made and treasure them to this day. Awesome!!! FIVE STARS *****

Sammy said...

Great post about reading! When people ask me what my hobbies are, I can honestly only think of reading. I do it so much that it's more than just an enjoyable activity--it really is a hobby! Or a habit, as you say! I can't put into words how excited I am to share books with my kids!

YAY for reading!! :-)

Barbara said...

Love all the quotations on reading.
I do not know when and how i first learnt to read but it has always been a passion of mine.
One thing I do remember when I was a young child (probably about 7) asking my Mother why a particular neighbour seemed to know so much. She answered 'he reads so much'.
I have found the same in my own life. The wealth of knowledge I have to dig into comes from so much reading on so many subjects.

Hootin' Anni said...

PS....from yesterday. Oh I know that we two can have fun twisting our words and having a jolly time. We're kindred spirits!

Maine Mom said...

I wish I had more time to read these days, but I enjoy the little bit of reading time I have before bed. I often fall asleep in the middle of a page, though! I just started a book about the survivors of flight 1549 that landed on the Hudson. I'm excited to read it!

Zoe and Emily love to read. Eleanor tolerates reading, but she has improved a lot in her reading this school year. I've noticed that I don't read to the younger kids as much I did the older kids, so I need to read to them more. We brought books home from the library yesterday to read. I love getting books from the library to read to the kids. They enjoy the "new" books, too.

Care Bear did a great job on the cover drawing!

nancygrayce said...

Love the book! That penmanship is beautiful!

I love reading too and am currently reading the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers.....can hardly put it down. I've had little time for reading the past couple of weeks, but when I can I love to and To Kill A Mockingbird was one of my favorites!

groovyoldlady said...

I too was an early reader, so it was a shock to me to have only one earlybird out of 4 children. Funsocksgirl was reading by 4 and I thought the others would follow suit. Silly me! Scout was dyslexic and, while he can read, he doesn't enjoy doing so as an adult. Girly-Girl blossomed late, but now she reads constantly! Silly-head is finally, at almost 9, JUST getting the hang of it.

Nicoolmama said...

I love that first quote- it is SO true. I was just thinking how healing going to the library was when I was this week.

I nominated you for an award on my blog! There is also a giveaway so come check it out!!

A Hint of Home said...

You're a girl after my own heart! I love, love to read.
My 10 year old grand daughter reads all the time. She is reading American Girl books and others.
Enjoy your weekend and thanks for the post!

Brenda said...

That is so neat! Your granddaughter should be proud, what an accomplishment.

nannykim said...

Just thought I would let you know I have been reading some of Lynn Austin's books. I read Hidden Places, and the one with Candle in the title (I never can remember titles). I am now reading A Proper Pursuit. I have ordered Eve's Daughters on inter -library loan. So thanks for telling me about her.