Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Calling All Readers! I need your help!

I've been thinking a lot recently about what I want this blog to be and how I can make it more interactive. I have also been thinking about what it means to be well-read, and how ones gets to be well-read. Then it came to me. I want to feature "well-read" people on this blog and share their tips and insights.

I consider myself to be on my way to being well-read but I still have long way to go. I am always looking for more information, more stories, and more tips to get to where I want to be. So I want to learn from you all and with you all.

Here's where I need your help. Are you an avid reader? Have you made changes in your life that have helped you read more? Who/what inspires you to keep reading? Do you consider yourself to be well-read? Do you know someone who is well-read? What does that even mean? If you have answers or thoughts to any of these questions please leave a comment or contact me via e-mail (caitlindonohuegmailcom). And if you want, I'd love to feature some of you (or those you recommend) to help inspire others to read more. Let me know if you are interested!

Also, I'm interested in well-read historical figures (or current well-known people). Does anyone come to mind? Have you read any biographies about someone who had a great reading habit? I've started a list and am looking to add to it.

Thanks in advance for any help or input on this little project. I can't wait to hear what you all have to say!


Kirsty said...

I'm not sure how I could help but I'd LOVE to! I love reading, have done since I was a kid... I guess I consider myself well-read, in that I try to read as widely as I can, and because I also write, I think I am able to look at a book objectively and see the craft as well as the story. Let me know what I can do! kirstyjean[at]gmail[dot]com

Han said...

I think my comment is going to be stupidly long so I will email you with the info then you can copy and paste here if you'd like :D

Rebecca said...

This doesn't exactly answer your question, but I've also been thinking about the concept of being 'well-read' versus 'reading-well.' By 'reading well' I mean the ability to sit down and be wholly engrossed in a book for hours. Others would, I'm sure, disagree with this definition, but for me, there was a golden period of time when I was about 17 when every book I picked up drew me into a world that I engaged with on such a deep, complex, and emotional level, that I can still remember vivid details from most of the books I read during that time. In fact, some of them probably shaped the way I view the world and other human beings.

Now I'm working on a PhD in English, so technically, I think I can say that I'm 'well-read.' But for a variety of reasons, I think that I'm getting further and further away from the point of 'reading well.' I skim research, I search for facts or texts that reinforce my views or arguments, I quickly categorize texts into existing structures in my mind, etc. etc. But that's not why I got into this business in the first place. I got into it because, quite frankly, I loved to read.

Even people who aren't in a program of this nature seem to hit this same wall in adulthood. My husband, for example, hasn't completed a book in ages, even though he was an avid teenage reader. Is it just that we're so busy? Does technology distract us?

So, I guess I just gave that long and unnecessary exposition to say that I'd like to know how to get back to that happy land of my youth. How does one put aside all the mental baggage that goes along with being 'well-read' so that he or she can get back to 'reading-well'? And, what's more, how does one convey both of those concepts to students who claim to hate all reading and who, even when their grade depends on it, avoid reading like the plague??