Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Set your sights on summer!

Summer reading is on the way again--we kick off on June 4 through the system, and on June 5, Cherry Hills will start off with a Beachless Beach Party, to celebrate this year's water-based theme, Make a Splash!

The children's program asks kids to set their own reading goals, while the adults and teens will count hours, but it's never a bad idea to set the goal--can you read an hour a day? Can you read that long book you've been meaning to get to?

Some of the ideas kids have had so far are great--they'll read a boxed set series that Grandma gave them, work their way through a shelf in their homes, read to younger siblings... you name it.

For myself, I'm going to get to know the Cherry Hills children's collection better by reading one book from each shelving section in children's fiction. To keep myself honest here, I'm going to be keeping my own blog of reviews, Barbara's Book Splash, starting in June.

Oh, but I'm a children's librarian--I'm expected to get all atwitter (or all aBlogspot, I guess) over Summer Reading... why should other adults do it?

Well, for one thing, just for the fun of it. It's a grand game to challenge yourself to do something you don't normally do, and you're likely to discover some good reads in the process.

But what other reasons are there?

Probably, the most important for parents, in particular, is that modeling behavior is a huge predictor of imitation in children. You want your children to like reading? Let them see that you like reading, that you find it worth your time to curl up with a book and just enjoy it. Not because you have to, not because it's useful, not because it's "good for you," but because, of all the things out there to do, reading is one of the ones worth your free time. That's a powerful message. To this day, I recall one of the most pleasant days of my childhood--it was pouring outside, and my mother and I curled up at either end of the couch and read our books from lunchtime until it was dark and we both realized it was probably time for dinner. Reading was such a part of life that it never occurred to me that it was something one "had" to do.

But there are other reasons.

Carving out time to read is carving out time for yourself, away from the phone, the constant tug of texting and IMing and e-mailing, away from the mundane. Everyone needs that from time to time, and books are an amiable companion for it.

You never know when you'll find something new to pique your interest--sometimes, the paths to learning things are indirect. Read a novel, pick up a note of side interest to the author, follow it through some non-fiction and articles, and the next thing you know, you have a new passion. Not a bad way to spend an evening, as Professor Keating of Dead Poets Society would say.


Are you going to dip your toes in the ocean of books this summer? Dive in and swim in the cool, refreshing words? Come up with better water-based metaphors we can use for this program?

What's your reading goal for summer 2010?

1 comment:

Susan said...

My reading goal for summer 2010 is to finish reading books 6-10 for the "10 in '10 NM Reading Challenge" books. Susan