Simple thoughts on reading

Growing up I had a lot of insecurities and one was reading.  My heart would race and I would feel so silly because I read slower than my friends and stumbled upon words easily.  I had the hardest time sounding words out.

So that lead to an early age of not enjoying reading.  Of claiming, I’m just not a reader.  I’m slow.  It’s too hard.  I made it through high school only reading books we listened to on tape (haha!) and reading reviews online to find out details about a book instead of reading it.  I didn’t do well with time crunches on reading.  I’m an absorber of knowledge.  I like to sit on it and let it soak in.

So the first book I remember reading cover to cover was Redeeming Love.  I read it so fast.  It was so powerful and I would sit and read before my college classes would start and pick it up as soon as class was over.  That same year, my husband read Josh Hamilton’s book about his life out loud to me, one of my favorite memories.  We read for two hours.  I sat and listened to the peaceful voice of my husband and cried tears of joy at an amazing testimony of God’s love to change anyone.

My eyes were wide open.  Reading.  The joy and the passion of a good book.  I wanted others to enjoy reading too.  So as I started student teaching science I found I still wanted to encourage my students to read.

I was student teaching and one of the students really struggled with reading.  She wasn’t enjoying the books her friends were reading.  So I encouraged her to step down and read a previous grade book and she loved it.  I saw her eyes open and she was proud of herself.  Reading is reading no matter what.  We must start somewhere.  And books speak to us so differently.

Reading is a powerful connector.

I became a first year teacher six weeks into the school year, and it was flat overwhelming.  I wanted to connect with my one hundred and twenty students, but I didn’t know how.  And the second semester I decided to focus on connecting with a few students instead of the overwhelming task of the entire grade.  So this one student, worked in the library and I loved her book references.  I started reading Hunger Games that spring and we’d share details of the story together.  I remember thinking wow, this is what reading is all about.  Connection.  Reading crosses culture, age groups, social classes and makes us all the same: curious.

I love reading now.  I’d say its a huge passion.  A few years ago I realized it when my husband said, wow you’ve been reading a lot of books this year.  I felt proud.  Honored he noticed, even though that wasn’t my goal.

A few take-aways:

  1. I like reading fiction with non-fiction.
  2. I use November and December to finish up books I’ve left behind during the year.
  3. I’ve set a goal to read two to three books a month.  (Averaging two so far.)
  4. I follow authors on instagram and podcasts (Shauna Niequist podcast); they have the best book references.
  5. I make a wish list on amazon of all the books I want.  The list grows every day.  We are living in days where we can get a book about anything.

I am currently reading A wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle and None Like Him by Jen Wilkins.

Last month I read A Wrinkle in Time and The Happiest Mom.  

So what are you reading?  What books do you re-read?  What book do you want to read this year?  Reference away!