I walked by Books on the Square during a visit home to Rhode Island with Karen Carvalho-Franks (my bestie, bff, ride-or-die) and of course, we had to go inside. Browsing around through all the stories waiting for me to read, I saw this quote on a linen cloth hanging on the wall and knew I would not leave the store without one. People who know me well are aware of my insatiable habit of buying books, some I read and some I don’t. Piles of books exist at my house to my husband’s dismay (which is putting it mildly).
Taking me to get my first library card at the South Providence Public Library on Prairie Avenue was a gift from my late mother that keeps on giving. By the way, my birthday is in September in case you’re wondering what to get me.
So why all this talk about books and reading? Well, working with aspiring college students always leads to conversations about their reading habits.
Dr. B: Tell me what you’ve read that a teacher did not assign.
Student X: What? You mean like a book?
Dr. B (a little exasperated): Yes, a book, a magazine, anything. What have you read?
Student X (sheepishly): Nothing. I don’t like to read.
Yep, “I don’t like to read” but somehow, this student is going to go to college, stay in college and graduate without any issues. Oy vey!
The Pew Research Center reports interesting data highlighting reading habits based on income level, educational attainment and place of birth. Their findings do not paint a positive picture on the reading habits of many adults in the United States. With the rise of video-enhanced entertainment, I wonder if reading for pleasure will remain elusive for many people.
This summer, I am encouraging my students to read. I shared several tips with them in this video, but most of all I want them to read. Now, I am working with several students who are readers like me (hooray). One student recommended The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, which turned out to be the perfect book for me as I struggled with establishing better habits (not buying every book that caught my eye). In the meantime, my pile of books continues to grow thanks to my mom’s wisdom of introducing me to the library.