A few months back, I attended a meeting of our state NCTE affiliate, the first meeting of the year. Using a typical “ice breaker” process, we were asked to talk about our summer reading. What a wonderful time we had, bonding over our brief book talks, sharing ideas, writing titles, and for some, immediately downloading new novels and non-fiction to our iPads!
As I left that meeting, I was struck by the power of reading and the sharing of what we read; books bridge gaps between us, guide us, inspire us. As English teachers or students of English, most of us revel in texts, scheduling precious reading moments. Many of us belong to book clubs—I try to juggle two different ones, reading the agreed-to-books as well as adding the “not-selected” titles to my already-bulging book shelves.
One of the books recommended to me is a non-fiction piece, Why Read by Mark Edmundson. Edmundson’s epigraph from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The American Scholar” reads, “Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is the right use? What is the one end, which all means to go effect? They are for nothing but to inspire.”
How are you inspired as a reader? What books have moved you of late? As we open the new NEHS Museletter blog this school year, we’ll spend more time sharing book titles, book reviews, and chat about what’s inspiring us as we read. We invite you to share your new discoveries, to build the NEHS community of book lovers.