Thursday, September 10, 2009

Of Reading and Writing

Of course you know that writer's read. I'm not sure which comes first: the love for reading or the love for writing. I told a teacher once that I was sure that I write well because I read so much. She assured me that was not the case as she read voraciously, but couldn't write much. I'm not convinced.

I love to talk about books and authors and plots and distint writing styles and playful words.

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a young reader. She hasn't read much, but enjoys words.

"Do you have a book I could read?" There's a question one should never ask an avid reader.

Hm, yeah, well, could I make a couple of recommendations? Wow! Talk about opening Pandora's Box! I rambled for a bit and then realized I was overwhelming her with my library-in-the-brain and a series of "Have you reads?"

"Come over to my bookshelf and let's take a look."

The Outsiders was first. That's a must-read. If you have never picked it up and you work with kids, especially kids in poverty, you must read this classic. Well written, expressive, passionate. I have read it to every class I have taught. It creates a new view of troubled kids, honestly. Kids love it. There is nothing to fear in its pages. I promise you. It's just very real.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn kind of does the same thing, too. But it makes the reader realize that there are worse things than being poor, worse things than having a dysfunctional family, worse things than struggling. Ceasing to live would be much worse. Enjoying the moment and living life can make you rich regardless of what you have or don't have, or think you should have. Determination can take you to places you didn't expect.

The list goes on and on of the worlds I've traveled through literature. See? I'm not sure which came first. Before I started kindergarten, I remember learning to read sitting on my Grandpa's lap and carefully putting letters together at my Grandma's table.

I love words and the horizons they present.

So, what do you think? Which came first, the reader or the writer?

1 comment:

  1. i vote writer...only because i started writing when i was 10 and no lie i had not read more than 3 books (not counting doc. suse) and the longest book i read was no more than 50 pages.
    now maybe if i read more i would be a better writer?!?!?