Saturday, January 4, 2014

The state of books, books, books

Apparently I am never going to become one bit more tech-savvy than I am now, which is enough to become frustrated at the things I think I should be able to do but can't.  I took this picture by using my car mirror so I could center my face, then I emailed it to myself and saved it to my Mac....except that something so simple became very complex as I started this blog.  In fact, I have a new gmail account and I couldn't even FIND my old blog account.  Seems that is the way of it.  I tend to complex my life up with over-obsession or over working a thought...multiple email addresses that are supposed to make my life easier have, well, not.
I want to talk about reading this time around.  After all, this is what I have proclaimed my blog to be about.  This summer I "read" a book I purchased through Amazon as an audio read - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harald Fry by Rachel Joyce.  I drove to my dad's in Clarkston and then to my sister's at Palmer Lake, and I wanted an engaging story I could listen to.  Funny, I rarely select a special occasion book easily; I always want the perfect read. Harold Fry was a delight and I loved hearing it from the melodious British Jim Broadbent.  I know, I know, it is my own ignorant American ear, but I thought Broadbent sounded so much like Jim Dale (the narrator of the Harry Potter books).  Maybe it's because they are both Jims? What I find interesting though is that I don't think my brain differentiates between my reading the story or hearing the story; it's all muddled in there together. I read several books on my OOOOOOLD Kindle and on my phone via Kindle App.  Believe me, you have to really WANT to read if you are going to read a book on my tiny phone screen.  Kindle reads included I Love Yous Are For White People, a Vietnamese-American retrospective by Lac Su and a brilliant short story book by David Vann called Legend of a Suicide plus a slew of mysteries and some of my favorite books with reoccurring characters like Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock and Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson ( I love, love, love them).   I read hardcover books for my classroom - which is an unfortunate state of education, but something I can't tackle today - current reads are Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt and The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I am so grateful that I love to read. According to this article, brain function elevates and remains elevated for days after reading. Reading for Brain Boost
What is the best way to read a book? When I listen to a book, I can't linger over it or delve into the figurative language the way I can when I read a book.  But sometimes the sound of words are so amazing that they MUST be heard out loud; they must be shared with someone. I find with Black Elk, I am forced to slow down and re-read and spend time with the words.  With so many of the books I read, I rush through them, intent upon the story so much that I often forget details in the book.
Will we always have books?  Many of my students don't read at all, unless forced.  They clamor to watch the movie, if there is one, of a book or story we are reading.  Reading makes them impatient. Will there always be reading?

1 comment:

Kim said...

Good to see you writing again!