Reading Is My Passion #AprilBlogADay

Today is Day 12 in the April Blog A Day challenge. In an attempt to make up for time lost I shall address the two weekend prompts with one response. Saturday’s Prompt: What am I reading? Sunday’s Prompt: What is my passion? 

The Reader! I’m pretty sure it started with my mom. She was – still is an avid reader, averaging 4 books a month. I’m certain I got my love of reading from her.

Reading in Ucluelet

Reading in Ucluelet

When we were very young, well before the last two of my siblings were born, my mom would read my older brother and me bedtime stories. My favourite story of ALL time,  was about a boy named Selfish Sandy, who I swear was based on my brother, Gary. “Mom, this story is about Gary!” may have been my exact words. It was hard being the younger sister.

As I got older and all the other girls were reading Nancy Drew, I was reading a series about a nurse detective named Cherie Ames.  The other girls also had Barbie dolls, but not me; my mom bought me a Marjorie doll. The other girls had really cool 3-speed bikes with hand brakes & cute carriers on the front; I had a bike with back-pedal brakes and a humongous black newspaper carrier on the front…a theme perhaps?

When I turned 11, I read Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery for the first time. That sealed my fate as a life-long reader. I devoured the rest of the books in the Anne series and for many summers after I re-read all eight books. I loved Anne. In my early 40’s our family travelled to PEI and I was able to visit Anne’s Land. It’s not an understatement to say I felt like I ‘had come home’.

I now have several books on the go at all times. In progress are: Brainstorm by Dan Siegel; The Dark Night of the Soul by Gerald May. Recently finished: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate. My library is full of many excellent books about education and more-so leadership. My last favourite read was Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. 

I am much more of a fiction reader and average 4-5 books a month. I am up to date and eagerly waiting for the next novel in Louise Penny’s 3 Pines series. I love following her on Facebook. I was hooked on Janet Evanovich’s  Stephanie Plum series, but got bored after book #21. I no longer care who Stephanie ends up with. (Ok, I’d prefer Morelli over Ranger – but I’m not going to read any more books to find out!) 

A sample of my favourite books from the last decade include (in no particular order, fiction/non fiction mix): The Language of Flowers, Love Anthony, Friday Night Knitting Club, Brain on Fire, Lean In, Thrive, The Salt Road, The Book Whisper (I think EVERY educator MUST read this), Lost at School, Daring Greatly…

The Passion! For the last three years I’ve been happily managing our school library. Funny true – I was at Chapter’s when I got the call that part of my assignment would be library…meant to be? I think so.

Loving reading as I do, sharing that love is a passion of mine. Getting the right book to the right student makes my day. I love it when students write names of books they’d like me to buy on corner scraps of torn paper and give them to me with a hopeful grin, “Mrs. Perry, you NEED to buy this one!”. And that kid, the one who doesn’t like to read – because there is “NOTHING to read” – getting that kid a book, then glancing over to witness that same student engaged in that book <Woohoo> high fives and smiles all around.

There was a year I will always remember. I was teaching in Vernon at the time and had a clever group of grade 7 students.  That class of 12 year olds loved to read. I had recently come back from PEI and had Anne on my mind. So our class read Anne, together, alone, in pairs, whatever it took. The movie with Meagan Follows hadn’t been out long and I supplemented the reading with the movie. AoGG is not an easy book to read, even for grade 7’s. But the story, oh the story needs to get to our kids. And this class got it. They understood it was ok to be different. Fitting in didn’t mean being the same. They got the lonely, the sad, the scope for imagination, and the delight of having a kindred spirit.  I may be looking back with rosy glasses, but even the boys (after their initial protests and groans) grew to love Anne. I’m sure some of them loved Anne, because I loved her so much. They felt my passion and happily, passion begat passion.

Until next time…

The Story of the Log Jam

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