I clearly remember my first year out of college—that is, in relation to books. I’d become an English major quite late (can you say, last semester?) and I’d had to read nonstop to graduate on time. Add to this a constant diet of titles I’d consumed to tackle my English GRE’s and I was completely spent. I wasn’t sure I’d ever read a book again. In fact, I did not read (maybe not even the sides of cereal boxes) for at least a full year after graduation.
Where had my love of reading gone?
In today’s education system, I believe we’re at risk of driving both educators and students right off the reading edge. With so much emphasis on read and respond, read and annotate, read and analyze, read and summarize, read and tally, where’s the fun? (And I do understand that these activities *are* fun for some people, but I suspect they are the minorities.)
Enter a group of four educators who want to say, the fun is right here. You can Read for Fun. Go ahead, steal that Harry Potter in the night, dig that Batman graphic novel by day.
Like Tweetspeak itself, which began with a single tweet, the Read for Fun movement began with… a single tweet. Principal Sean Gaillard explains how a tweet from a network associate Jennifer Williams led first to book recommendations and, soon after, to a whole new Twitter movement you can follow through the #Read4Fun hashtag. Says Sean,
[Jennifer Williams] simply asked a general question for non-academic book recommendations. The former English Teacher embedded within me suddenly kicked into book geek overdrive and I responded with a few suggestions. This conversation led to Connie Rockow, another a new friend in my PLN to share a few book suggestions. Lena Marie Rockwood followed suit and joined in as well with suggestions. It was like we were all having a virtual cup of coffee together in a faculty lounge. The more we shared, the more I felt I had been working with these folks for years. The spark was ignited and we were sharing excited tweets and messages regarding our love of books and desire to get back to our roots of reading for fun.
Soon after, the group developed Read for Fun, which is currently driven mostly by weekly spark chats and general Twitter conversation. Read for fun. It’s a good concept to keep in mind—for our own lives, for our education system, for our children. Not to mention for our writing health.
What are *you* currently reading for fun? And, do you have favorite places and ways to read?
Photo by Ines Hegedus-Garcia, Creative Commons, via Flickr. Post by L.L. Barkat.
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