I am addicted to books. I own far more than I’ve read or could ever manage to read (and we got rid of a significant number of books and about half our bookshelves when we moved a few years ago). I utilize my public library system frequently and with great passion. To the extent that I check out about twice as many books (or maybe three times as many) as I read. Far too often I’m returning books I haven’t cracked open.
As one example of this, these are the two packages that arrived at my house yesterday.
A book I couldn’t put on hold at the library but think might be a good read aloud for my class and a pair of leggings covered with book spines. Yup, a serious obsession with books.
The benefit to that obsession is an enormous classroom library.
That obsession also means my love and energy around books is clear to my students. This afternoon one of my students brought Real Friends over to me saying that she had finished it. I looked a little perplexed so she reminded me that some pages were falling out and I had promised to fix it when she finished. I thanked her and took the book. A few minutes later she came back to see if she could take it to another girl in our class because she wanted to read it. I immediately taped up pages and delivered it.
My students are sharing books with each other, passing them around. I know if I book talk a book at least some students will want to read it. I didn’t know that they would begin that process on their own without any support from me.
When I do book talks, usually two or three times each week, we put a post-it note on the cover of the book and list the students who want to read it. When the first person finishes it, they pass it on to the next name on the list. And on and on as needed. I’ve seen students do this on their own this year.
I believe my obsession with books means my students are more passionate readers. That makes it all worthwhile.