New Host, Controversial Guest Post, and A Giveaway!
Welcome back to Literacy Musing Mondays. We have great news this week. We have a new host: Leslie. Leslie recently guest hosted for us. She is a devoted wife, mother of three great kids and, most importantly, a follower of Jesus Christ. She loves long summer days, photography and stealing quiet moments for writing. Connect with on her on her blog, Forever Joyful.
This is going to be a busy week. In addition to a new host, we have a guest post from Holly Pennington.
Holly writes about vulnerability, faith and freedom at www.dreadlocksandgoldilocks.com with her dreadlock-wearing poet friend, Kari. She lives in the Seattle area, where she loves to read, and is thankful for the awesome library system. She would love to connect with you on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Her guest post is going to cause a lot of conversation. I hope you enjoy.
4 Things I Learned From Hating to Read
By Holly Pennington
In high school, reading Watership Down, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and anything Shakespeare were battles to stay awake. I would surrender the night before the test, leaving hundreds of pages unread, then pray for multiple choice. I cannot recount my childhood in books, and I have no blissful memories of Little Women or Anne of Green Gables.
Because I hated to read.
It was an unlikely book at an unlikely time that made me fall in love with reading: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, during my second year of college. Maybe the fact that the book was not an academic assignment played a role. Maybe it was that it was only 224 pages. Maybe it was just that it was a fascinating story. Or, maybe, it was simply that, until then, I wasn’t ready to be a reader.
I can easily turn regretful at my dislike of reading during my early years, filling up with anxiety over all that I am sure I missed. I will never get those reading years back. And, considering the impact books have had on me during the second half of my so-far-life, I sometimes wonder who I would be now if I had loved reading then.
But, if I had loved reading then, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t believe the things I do now about books.
- Reading can’t be forced and it’s not for everyone. It’s not like piano lessons or exercising. We can’t force ourselves, or our children, to read every day and expect the 10,000 hour effect to emerge. We can’t schedule ourselves into bibliophilia. I wonder if, before TED talks, Netflix, Instagram and YouTube, forced reading was more fruitful than it is now. While, for me, the most powerful form of inspiration is the written word, this is not true for everyone. Why can’t a podcast be just as life-changing as a book? It’s okay to not be a reader at all, and it’s okay not to be a reader right now. Maybe we need to be ready to be readers. And being ready comes at all different ages, for all different reasons.
- Reading doesn’t make you more interesting. Do you ever hear someone quote something they read in a book and immediately peg them as smart and interesting, just because they are quoting a book? The last time I checked, regurgitating other people’s wise words doesn’t make you interesting. But, putting them into practice does. Reading can so easily be turned into a status symbol or an ego prop. We think if we can say, “yes, I read that book,” when the movie comes out, we will be part of the “smart and interesting” club. But, what really makes us interesting is when the stories become part of us, when they seep into our blood, carrying a new rhythm to our heart. What really makes us interesting is not when we can quote an author or “yes” our way through the “Have you read…?” questions. What makes us interesting is what we do with what we read.
- You don’t have to read a lot to call yourself a reader. Do you ever turn reading into a competition? When your mom reads six books during a ten day vacation (my mom really does) and you are pretty sure you have read six books in the last six months, do you reconsider calling yourself a reader? When you run across those Best Books of the Year lists that come out in December, do you feel like you’ve failed? They make me want to download one of those “reading goals” charts and start scheduling away. Sometimes I think it would feel so good to be able to say that I read one hundred books this year. Then, I remember that, really, I would rather read 5 amazing books and let them change me. I want the books I read to carry me into new ways of seeing and living as they become part of me.
- Books choose their readers as much as readers choose their books. Into the Wild taught me this one. I wasn’t a reader. But that book chose me. And it changed me. The high school classics didn’t choose me and I didn’t choose them, so maybe this is why we never got along. But, now I listen to the mysterious whisper of books. I answer their calls. Sometimes it’s an irresistible cover, sometimes it’s a trusted friend’s heartfelt recommendation, and sometimes it’s a perfect-timing arrival from my books-on-hold list at the library. Books can choose their readers. And this is when they change us the most.
After nearly twenty years of calling myself a reader, I still haven’t revisited my high school battle books or read Little Women.
But, my life has new rhythms because of the books in my blood.
So, thank you, Into the Wild, for knowing that I was ready.
Be sure to check out Holly’s blog today for more of this great post!
We also have a giveaway in store for our readers and participants! You could win $40 in either PayPal cash or on an Amazon gift card. The winner will choose. We will run the giveaway through Friday, October 2nd and announce the winner on the Monday, October 5. Just complete the entries in the Giveaway Tool below for your chance to win!
Last Week’s Top Clicked Post!
Sarah’s Post at Devastate Boredom
Sarah has a great list books that you will want to add to your own list of to-be-read! I enjoyed her quirky and fun descriptions of her featured titles. Be sure to check it out. Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin your posts to our Pinterest Board! Follow Mary Hill’s board Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.
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Linking up with these hops this week: #LifeGivingLinkup; Inspire Me Mondays at Create with Joy, Inspire Me Monday at Angie Ryg,Mama Moments Monday, Motivation Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Inspire Me Mondays at Table for 7, Mommy Monday Blog Hop, The Book Nook – Blog Party For Book Lovers!, Together on Tuesdays at Chronically Content, Totally Terrific Tuesdays, Women with Intention Wednesdays, What to Read Wednesdays, Mom’s Library, A Little R &R Wednesday’s linkup, Kid Lit Blog Hop, Booknificent Thursdays, and TGI Saturdays.