Life Lesson Number 7: Read More Books
Leisure reading is an activity that has fallen by the wayside in the hustle and bustle of our modern world. We all have hectic lives. Our spare time is consumed with Facebook and video games. Before I retired, I worked with several students that claimed they had never cracked a textbook. They reported that they had trouble with the written word. There is only one cure for this lack of reading disease. Read more books.
Rooster claims I have a reading addiction. I can’t walk past a bookstore without taking home a stack of books. My husband says he worries about the foundation of the house because the weight of my books is causing permanent damage. I will admit I have more books than I can read in this lifetime, but I ignore his argument about the house’s foundation. My books couldn’t weigh more than the refrigerator. Could they?
Read More Books
When I was a child, I struggled to become a reader. The problem didn’t center around a lack of adults to read to me. My mother loved to read. She was a deaf woman with a sixth-grade education, but she stumbled across the job of reading. I know letters existed on the page that formed words that meant something. When I was very young, I was good at faking it. There was no problem with my memory. Read me a book twice, and I could repeat the content back word for word. People thought I was reading.
My big issue happened when I got to school. We moved around a lot during my first-grade year. It wasn’t simply a matter of switching houses. My family lived in three different states in one year. I slipped through the cracks, and everyone thought I would catch up. Then came third grade, and I had a problem. Those words on the page didn’t make sense. I couldn’t spell. And forget about punctuation and diagramming sentences.
Read More Books
I had a fifth-grade teacher who said this is ridiculous. She called my mother for a conference and suggested I participate in an experimental program IU was developing for kids with my problem. This testing happened in the early days when they started trying to develop ways to teach kids with dyslexia. They didn’t develop an educational plan, but when I entered the sixth grade, my teacher started finding different ways to help me learn.
Seating in those old days was done in alphabetical order. My name started with a W that placed me at the back of the room. Mr. Gooding moved me to the front row, which made all the difference. I still struggle, but by the seventh grade, I could read.
Read More Books
The next hurdle I jumped over happened the day I discovered the library. I could check out books that kids in the lower grades read without embarrassment. Charollet’s Web by E.B. White showed me what I’d been missing. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn changed my life because I could relate to the characters.
A person who reads has a better understanding of life. I want to courage everyone to pick up a book and start reading. There is no way you can write if you don’t have the experience of books in your life. It is how we learn the craft because it is the only school we can attend that can show us how the process is done. Reading is part of putting in the work.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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