because life has ups and downs…
I recently finished reading an autobiography by Trevor Noah called Born a Crime. I love 😍to read stories about real lives, especially when they are authentic. I can’t stand the stories where the writer just tells the fluffy parts of their life. We all have something going on that’s unusual 😜or funny or heartbreaking.💔The book by Noah was all of that and more. As the saying goes, you couldn’t make it up. There were so many twists and turns in his life, yet he came out on the other side with a sense of humor and a positive 😀attitude intact. I learned something about strength and love ❤️throughout his story.
I was one of those kids who never enjoyed reading. I wasn’t into 📚books, especially thick ones with lots of pages. I liked comic books, though. Archie comic books were my favorite. I strangely loved the newspaper- or I loved the ritual of reading the 🗞newspaper. My dad read two different newspapers every day and three on Sundays. Every Sunday morning, I’d pull out the lifestyle and comic sections to read by myself. My dad usually read parts of the news and sports sections to me, probably as a way to make sure that I knew what was happening in the 🌎world. The times we read the newspaper together are still some of my favorite ✨memories of my father.
I loved for someone to read to me. My parents. My teachers. My babysitters. My older brothers. I could always sit still for stories that were read aloud to me. I remember that my 5th-grade teacher read a book 📖called Escape from Warsaw. I couldn’t tell you the author or if the book is even in print now. I know that I was completely captivated 😮by that book. That was my first foray into the historical fiction arena of books, a genre that I continue to love.
There was one thing I absolutely hated about reading- whenever my teachers asked me to read aloud.😬As a Reading teacher, I always tell my students this story. When I was a kid, I would panic 😩if the teacher said that we would take turns to read aloud from our textbooks. Back in those days, teachers typically went down the rows of desks and each kid read a paragraph. I would silently count the students in line ahead of me and the paragraphs on the pages until I found the one that would be mine. Then, I silently read and read and read that one paragraph in hopes of knowing it by heart and not messing up a single syllable. There were a couple of flaws in my approach. One- I missed ALL of the other readers, which meant that I didn’t hear any of the information or the fact that the other students weren’t perfect readers either. Two- I often messed up my paragraph anyway because I was too freaked out to calm down until that passage was finished. My preparation of reading and rereading the paragraph did nothing more than cause more anxiety.
When I chose a career in education, I knew that I would have to learn to read aloud. I didn’t ever imagine that I would learn to 😍love it. I read aloud to my students every day. I’m one of those teachers who tries to make it almost 🎭theatrical in an effort to provide my students with the same feeling I had back in 5th-grade when my teacher brought me into that book. I secretly love it when students check out the book I’m reading to them from the school library because they can’t wait to know what happens next. I joke with them that they can’t read ahead but I’m cheering inside that they want to read!
I have a saying on the wall of my classroom. READING CAN TAKE YOU ANYWHERE. DO YOU WANT TO GO? So, that’s my question to you.❓Do you want to go? Let books take you on a ride. Find your favorite genre and explore it. My older kids love fantasy and fiction. I love historical fiction and 📚autobiographies. My youngest daughter enjoys non-fiction. My husband will read any book that has to do with 👟running. Don’t be afraid to play with it. Who cares if you haven’t discovered your favorite yet. It’s okay to abandon a book 📘that doesn’t capture your attention. I’ve done that plenty of times. I’ve also been so caught up I a book that I grab a highlighter and sticky notes because certain quotes spoke to me.
I always have a 📕book or my Kindle with me. There’s never a bad place to open a book. I read in my car🚗 or waiting rooms for appointments. I read in the gym with the sounds of volleyballs🏐 slamming in the background. I read on my couch with a blanket and a mug of coffee.☕️
Self-Care Sunday tip: read a 📚book. Not sure what to read? Ask friends and family for suggestions of titles. There are books on every subject you can imagine. Start at the library. Start at your bookstore. Start online. Just open a book and read!📖