Monday, July 6, 2015

More About Reading

          Slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community is a pleasure every week.  Thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Beth and Anna! FYI- I am making progress with the books. Now my hallway is filling up with boxes of books that will be leaving! I wish each of you could drop in to take a few!

      I'm joining the community of #cyberPD, and hope to see some of you there, too! This summer's book is Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8. You can purchase from NCTE, or from Amazon, and download it as an e-book. Click here to read more about #cyberPD or click here to join the Google+ discussion group! It's a pleasure every summer to participate in this knowledgeable group. I know I've retired, but still am so interested in what everyone might share about how they are doing with integrating digital reading in their classrooms. 

      Clearly a large, important slice of my life is reading. I love to read, and am wondering today and this evening if you have some kind of ritual, "thing" that you do when you are about to finish a book? When I woke up this morning, I knew what was ahead: more book cleaning out, a little dusting, reading blog posts and finishing Maggie Stiefvater's Blue Lily, Lily Blue. I've had this book since it came out, but just hadn't read it yet. Now I have. But it took me all day to read about 40 pages! I messed around with my book cleaning. Then I read a chapter. I took a walk, read another chapter. I vacuumed the whole house (which I wasn't planning to do), then read another chapter. I even re-read a chapter.
      

       And finally, I finished the book around dinner time. I was sad, took some notes, and wrote my review, which you can find on Goodreads if you're interested. I love the series, the next one isn't out till February. And I managed to take all day to finish the book! I take a long time at the end of nearly every book, especially those I am enjoying. What do you do? 

      

       

34 comments:

  1. You are a wise reader. To savor those last bits. I am not so patient. My speed increases at the end of book and bam! It's done. And I am so sad. It lingers with me for a good time. I have a difficult time picking up the next book. It almost feels like don't love the last book enough. The characters get so intermingled with my daily existence, waiting a bit for the next book seems to the decent thing to do. I break from reading fiction at this point and wait a bit. It's kind of a mourning period. So strange I hadn't realized this pattern until you asked. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing. It just is. Thank you for making me think!
    PS Thanks for the CyberPD info.

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    1. I love hearing your process, too, Julieanne. I've talked with my students about it, and often they shared different processes, or didn't think about it; it just happened. I imagine that thinking about our reading at the end helps us consider how we approach different kinds of reading, too, like your 'fiction break'. It's so interesting.

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    2. Julianne,
      We are alike in this. Once I've really enjoyed a book, I have a hard time starting a new one. Also if a book hasn't grabbed me in the first 30 pages, I usually abandon it. Maybe there is something to be said about taking a break between books, just to live with it a little while longer. When I read All the Bright Places, I got to a part that I knew was going to be tough. I think I let the book sit for 2 days before finishing it. We do have quirky reading lives. Something to think about with students, too.

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    3. Thanks for sharing, Margaret. It would be interesting to see what students think.

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  2. Hmmm... I am just about to take you up on your recommendation and download a sample to my Kindle. As for ending a book. I'd say that it depends. Some I race to get through but the ones that hold me, the ones I don't want to finish, they are hard and like you, I slow things down to savor my relationship with the characters and the love of place that's created for me where I might never be again.
    I just finish Inkheart and tried to stay away from the rest of the trilogy, sure that the rest of the series would not come close to the first, but I couldn't stay away. I'm back in that world.

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    1. You mirror my thinking too, Bonnie, to slow down. As for Inkheart, I understand how it would be tempting to keep going. It is a wonderful story, too.

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  3. Oh I really love this series! I just finished "Blue Lily, Lily Blue" too and am eagerly anticipating the last. Maggie Steifvater is a fun person to follow on Twitter, FYI. I am like Julieanne: I speed up at the end of a book. When I was reading divergent, I sped to the end, and then went back to reread the parts I had skimmed through because I needed to know the ending. I would NEVER just skip to the end though. :)

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    1. So funny, Lisa, I often want to know the end, but never have done that. Although I do return to re-read favorite parts that I marked. I'm not on twitter too much, but will look to see if I follow Maggie! Thanks!

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  4. Interesting mingle of chores and reading. I am the kind of reader who can't put a book down when it is interesting. I need to find out how it ends. I do wait with starting a new book when the finished one was super good. There are so many good books written that it has become more difficult to choose. Your recommendations are always helpful.

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    1. Thanks, Terje. Glad you enjoy some of the books I do. It is hard to choose, I agree. I am not a fast reader, take lots of time anyway, probably from years of reading with students and wanting to guide the group well.

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  5. There are some books that I really hate to see end because I got so involved in them. I put off reading those last fifty pages just so th book won't end. Of course, if it is a book in a series and I have the next book then all bets are off and I can't wait to finish one and start the next.

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    1. Oh, you are so right if you have the next one! I often do not, however. Glad to hear you slow down too!

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  6. It does sound as if you are savoring the book, truly appreciating it. I definitely read more slowly as a good book ends...and I often find it very difficult to start a new book right away. I find it difficult to let go. I will have to check out Blue Lily, Lily Blue - it clearly cast a spell on you! Lovely.

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    1. It is harder to choose the next book, although I have plenty to choose from, Maureen. If you like paranormal & have read the first two, Blue Lily, Lily Blue will be good. Otherwise, look for The Scorpio Races, a stand alone & wonderful.

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  7. Glad you are making decisions on your stacks of books, what an exhausting job! I must confess, I have been known to read an ending before its time because I need reassurance that it will end well. Then I am calm enough to enjoy the rest of the book. However, lately I've been resisting the urge to peek. I have to have time to savor the ending. So if I am close to the end and I need to fix dinner, I wait until after dinner to read the rest. This way I can savor the last bits of the friends I've come to love in the book.

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    1. It sounds as if your feelings are the same ones I have, Elsie. I am still thinking I should be reading the book! The stacks are diminishing into boxes, but now must have a sale!

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  8. I am a book addict when it comes to books I like! Which means it is a hard life. I want to read straight through until a book is done and that just mostly isn't possible, so I delay starting one. I know. It sounds backwards. And it's dumb. So I dont read much anymore. I would slow down too as I neared the ending of a book I was enjoying - hate those to end. I just recently finished reading
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon.

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    1. I used to be the 'straight through reader', but I guess the busy life got in the way & I became a 'read when you can grab the time' one. Each one of us is different & it does depend on one's life now, doesn't it? Thanks, Donna!

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  9. I am going to have to pay more attention to how I approach reading. It was interesting to see you walk through the process with this last book. I do not think one retires from learning! :) Especially when you have a platform to express what you learn, like this!

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    1. I agree, Kim. I am always pondering something new, examining different aspects of learning. I guess that's because of the teacher thing, right?

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  10. I love to finish a book. If it's a book I especially love, I try to put off the ending too. I'll read a bit and then go paint or do something else, but once I'm at the last twenty-five pages or so there is no stopping! I love Stiefvater, but I have not read this series. Thanks, Linda.

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    1. Fun to hear from you about your 'ending' a book, too, Lee Ann. Thanks!

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  11. Linda, your day was filled with reading and more reading between tasks. I love to read but have so little time to read for pleasure because my unretirement days are filled with professional tasks right now. Creating is taking up a huge portion of my time as it channels my energy and passion for integrating art/tech/lit. I am in the middle of reading "Summer of Letting Go" and the title itself seems to be a good mantra for me.

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    1. It is a great title for you, Carol. Fun to hear about. I see from your post that you have taken on many kinds of creative challenges. Best wishes!

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  12. Thank you for sharing this ritual for how you finished a book--especially one that you didn't want to end. As I finish books, I go on line to find out any book club discussion questions and think about my answers to them. Often, this allows me to think more deeply about the book. And allows me to savor the book in a different way. I just finished reading All the Light We Can Not See by Anthony Dorr. The book is beautifully written and the questions made me think in yet another way about the book. I can't wait to discuss it with my book club. I am currently reading Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper. I am not at the end of the book yet so I am savoring as I meander through. This is not a book club read so I will need to discuss the book in my mind on my own. One thing I have noticed in my reading lately, I am reading more like a writer. I am noticing the literary devices and organization the writer choose. Yet, in a good story, I put that aside and get lost in the story line--till the end when I visit the book with questions. I had more to say about this than I originally thought. Thanks for asking.

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    1. I hope that soon I can get to The Light We Cannot See, Deborah. I have it, and just haven't taken the time yet. I love hearing about your process in reading, in deepening the reading when you wish to, etc. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. Hmm. You got me thinking, too! Thanks for the post! I usually put my books on Goodreads, if I remember. I'm usually just on to the next book! I need to take more time. Jennifer Sniadecki

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    1. Thanks for sharing, but everyone is different, Jennifer, you may not need to take more time.

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  14. I've never thought about it before, but I do tend to slow down as I near the end of a book I've loved. It's like a place that I don't want to leave so I stretch out the time we have together.

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    1. I like the way you phrased that, Ramona, spending time together. Thanks!

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  15. It is so hard to see a book end! I hear ya! I like how you slowed it down!

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    1. Thanks, Loralee, just like Ramona said, a slow goodbye!

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  16. Usually, I'm exactly the opposite. Time stops until the book is finished. Like Deborah, I recently finished All the Light We Cannot See, which I loved, and I spent an entire afternoon holed up in my room until I reached the last page. I'm not even sure I stopped to eat. Of course I can't do that all the time, but it's my ideal. Glad you're making progress with your stacks!

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    1. Soon I will be done with organizing the books, Catherine. It's been fun to hear everyone's ways of ending books. Thanks.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!