Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Web RoundUp 3/30/11

After a brief hiatus, I'm back with a Wednesday list of reading related links.

A beautiful explanation about why reading is so important to one reader.

A though-provoking discussion about a new book that suggests that books are NOT on the way out.

A once-thought lost piece of Gone With the Wind, found.

Another take on the debate about e-books and public libraries from The Atlantic.

What have YOU been reading about reading lately? Do share!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

World Read Aloud Day Message from Kenya

I just had to share this wonderful message from Kenya on the importance of learning to read and write. This was created as part of World Read Aloud Day (yesterday, March 9) by LitWorld, an global literacy organization.

Thanks to to Room to Grow for pointing me toward this video.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

200th Post! Wednesday Web Round-Up 3/9/11

This is my 200th post on commonreaders! How exciting! I wish I could say that I had something exciting to write about, but I'll just be sharing a few links, as per usual on Wednesdays.

Did you know that today is World Read Aloud Day?

Reading is Fundamental and The National Writing Project have lost their federal funding. Here are some ways to help them.

President Obama emphasizes the need for better education in math and science, but rarely mentions reading and literacy. Do you think he assumes it goes without saying or is he prioritizing math and science over reading?

Join the NPR book club for March by reading Cutting for Stone.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Reading Evangelist

After much hemming and hawing and hesitating, I've come to a conclusion. I believe that everyone should be a reader. (Please stay with me. This post has been a long time coming, and may end up being a bit wordy. Consider it the beginning of my manifesto.)

I don't just mean that everyone should be literate (although I absolutely believe that, that's just not what I'm talking about here), but that every person should be an active and frequent reader. I'm not sure what would be my definitions of active and frequent are yet, but I'm inclined to sat at least one book per month.

I've been coming toward this conclusion for a while now, but I've been hesitant to declare it out into the blogosphere for fear coming across as snobby or judgmental. Let me be clear. I don't believe that I (as an avid reader) am smarter or somehow superior to those who do not read frequently. I do believe, however, that my life has a richness and a depth to it that can only come from reading widely and deeply. And I wish that for others.

One of my greatest joys in life is reading a wonderful book, then handing it over to a friend or family member that I know it will speak to. Often, that person comes to mind partway through the book, and I can't wait to finish it so I can give it to her right away. Just tonight, as a couple of friends ate dinner at my apartment, I jumped up from the table several times to run to my bookshelves and locate the exact book that was relevant our topic of conversation. As I pressed a book into one of their hands, she exclaimed, "I haven't finished the book you gave me last week!" Okay, so it's true; I can be over zealous. But it's truly one of my most favorite things.

However, one of my least favorite things is when someone replies, "Oh, thanks, but I don't have time to read." Or "I don't really like to read." It's so disappointing! I know that the book will bring such beauty or insight into that person's life.

Up until recently (well, really more like until right now), I've responded apologetically, as if I've offended. But no more. While I don't mean to be a pest, I am no longer accepting, "I don't have time to read" as an excuse. I am not expecting others to read as much as I do (thought there are many who read many more books that I), or setting out to make them feel bad about their lack of reading. I have just decided that I am going to make it my personal mission to inspire others to become life-longer readers. And I'm going to need your help.

Look for many more posts on this topic. Over the next few months, I plan to transform this blog into a platform to spread the reading message. I will still provide book reviews and literary news items, but it will all be focused on encouraging, equipping, inspiring, and connecting readers, new and old. And since non-readers probably won't read a blog about books, I'll need your help to spread the word. I will be creating resources to help you go out and encourage your friends and families to become readers. I also want to start providing book "match-making" services so that I can virtually "press" a book into your hands as well.

I'm toying with the idea of calling myself a "Reading Evangelist". What do you think? Will you join me?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wednesday Web RoundUp 3/2/11

It's Wednesday, so it's time for another round of literary links.

HarperCollins publishes an open letter to libraries regarding e-books.

I've heard about Sag Harbor for a while now, and this review makes me even more interested in the book.

Another review has me interested in a book (namely, The Postmistress).

A conversation with Katie Couric and The Help author, Kathryn Stockett.

What links have you interested this week? Do share!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Reading Goal: An Update

It's the start of a new month, so I thought it would be a good time to revisit my reading goal for the year. At the start of 2011, I decided that I wanted to read at least 60 books this year. After reaching 53 last year, I though this would be a bit more of a challenge, but still attainable.

As you can see from my list of books read in 2011 at the top of the page, I have read 16 books so far. For two months, that's really great! I'm very excited about the possibility of surpassing my goal. However, to be realistic, I must also realize that these past two months have been rather lacking in the obligations department, so I probably won't keep this pace up for the whole year. It's a fantastic start though, I'm so encouraged that I am well on my way to meeting my goal.

Tell me, what are your reading goals for this year? How are you doing? It's not too late! Make a reading goal for March, or the remainder of the year. Have a number to reach in your head is a great motivator when you're deciding between the remote and the bestseller you just picked up at the bookstore.

Happy Reading!