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Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading
An Educator's Reading List of Contemporary Literature, Literacy, and Reading Issues.
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The Things Librarians Find in Books

The Things Librarians Find in Books | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
I don't want to remain untouched by a book. Why should the book want to remain untouched by me?
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

1 February 2014

Yeah! Yeah! We've all heard about "thinking outside the box," a phrase so overused that too many now proudly use the phrase as though the phrase itself was their own stroke of outside the box thinking  and apply it lavishing to their own collection of inane parrotings.

 

So, maybe I'm the first to suggest, probably not, that this article is actually a welcome and thought provoking alternate take on what books are about.

 

Here's the comment I left at the end of the article (Don't hate me)...

 

"Love it!  


My new mantra! Let's hear in for "Thinking inside the book!"

 

As a teacher I used to provide my students with packets of the smallest multi-colored post-its so the could "write in the book AND at the same time bookmark the passages of particular meaning to them. Then I'd tell them to either remove them after they'd written their final paper. I'd also encourage them to consider writing in the book and then "losing it." But, I'd  also remind them (encourage them) that they would not be allowed to march in the graduation ceremony if they hadn't paid for lost books.

 

And, when I pointed out that there might be a relevant lesson to learn about love in The Velveteen Rabbit, I always got several grins from kids who just seemed to have issues not losing their books until the day I collected books; and they always handed me an envelope with the exact change in it to cover their "irresponsible act,"  lower their eyes and say "sorry." Then they'd raise their eyes, smile and wink at me. And, I'd simply put on a stern face, say, "I hope you've learned your lesson," smile and wink back.

 

 ~ www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

brought to you by GLT Global ED a 501C3 tax-exempt educational nonprofit

 

 

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Library Is Unapologetic After Lending An Erotic Novel To A 9-Year-Old

Library Is Unapologetic After Lending An Erotic Novel To A 9-Year-Old | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
An Indiana library has not apologized after a 9-year-old checked out an erotic novel.
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

So if they put YOU in charge of resolving this issue how would you resolve the issue to everybody's satisfaction?

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

"Google Lit Trips" is the fictious business name for GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming | Google Lit Trips: Reading About Reading | Scoop.it
A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens
GoogleLitTrips Reading List's insight:

How many stars would I give this article if I had stars to give based upon value to teachers of literature? Perhaps a galaxy minus three.

 

Why minus three? There are extremely rare points at which I might have divergent thoughts. But they are so few that in counting the stars in a galaxy, subtracting a few is absolutely insignificant.

 

A preface:

Some of the most cherished moments in my teaching career were those when a student would suddenly blurt out what was to him or her a profound realization stimulated by a passage in a book we were reading.  Quite frequently, that student would blurt out his or her comment with such a wonderful blend of intellectual discovery and emotional delight that he or she would immediately "realize" and become a bit embarrassed about the display of personal engagement that he or she had shared so publicly and with such unrestrained delight.

 

Though frequently the outburst brought an almost immediate moment of embarrassment to the student, it always brought such an adrenalin rush of joy to me that I'd immediately attempt to deflect the embarrassment and help that student return to the joy of the unprecedented discovery he or she had made "all by him or herself." It was good to be reminded that concepts I'd discovered so long before and were no longer the source of such elation to me, were NEW and FRESH and WONDERFULLY JOYFUL to students when they FIRST ENCOUNTERED those ideas. 

 

I might put my hand over my heart as though it was pounding so much that I had to pause to regain some control of my own excitement at their discovery. If I felt it was safe, I might just say softly as I dropped my eyes, "Wow. I need a moment. (pause) to just marinate in the beauty of what you just said." And, I'd actually just go silent long enough for the students to witness me just "appreciating" the moment. Within seconds the entire class, including those who might have laughed at the student for having "lost control in public" and those who might have rolled their eyes at the the student's comment as having somehow made them look bad or as having not been worthy of admiration since they may have already "figured that out," while witnessing my reaction came to wonder about the beauty of wonder and the joys that life's "special moments of personal discovery" bring.

 

Over the years, my response, though always absolutely sincere, did become a bit of a theatrical piece. enough drama to emphasize my appreciation for the gift of being able to witness the moment of beauty of one of my student's personal discoveries and not so dramatic as to amplify the student's embarassment for having "forgotten him or herself" in the moment.

 

I'll leave it there and simply explain that as I read this transcript from a talk given by Neil Gaiman I was that student overwhelmed on so many ocassions  by its articulate  capturing of so many "ah ha" moments. Sometimes the "ah has"  were a result of new ideas; increasingly rare for a veteran literature teacher. Sometimes they were a result of the absolute freshness of Gaiman's take on ideas I'd been quite aware of for decades. And in that freshness, new facets and contemplations flowed in torrents.

 

So without further comment, I just want to drop a few of the points made to give you a taste. These are  a few of the incredible number of gems that make this such a great read.

 

Consider these gems... (CAPS are mine for emphasis since bold is not available in this medium)

 

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...I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for PLEASURE, is one of the most important things one can do...

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...I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn't read. And certainly COULD'NT READ FOR PLEASURE... 

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...Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it's a GATEWAY DRUG TO READING. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it's hard, because someone's in trouble and you have to know how it's all going to end ... that's a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that READING per se IS PLEASURABLE.  ONCE YOU LEARN THAT, YOU"RE ON THE ROAD TO READING EVERYTHING... .

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...There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea ISN'T hackneyed and worn out TO THEM. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. 

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... WELL-MEANING ADULTS CAN EASILY DESTROY A CHILD'S LOVE OF READING: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian "improving" literature. You'll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant...

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...I'd like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it's a bad thing. AS IF "escapist" fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring THE WORST of the world the reader finds herself in. 

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...If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally. BUT that is to miss the point fundamentally...

 

So it is unfortunate that, round the world, we observe local authorities seizing the opportunity to close libraries as an easy way to save money, without realising that they are STEALING FROM THE FUTURE TO PAY FOR TODAY. They are closing the gates that should be open.... 

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...One of the best cures for a reluctant reader, after all, is a tale they cannot stop themselves from reading...

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...Albert Einstein was asked once how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. "If you want your children to be intelligent," he said, "read them fairy tales...

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Hoping that these quotes inspire a desire to read the transcript, I'll just leave it to you to find your own gems and areas for professional and personal introspection.

 

I'm convinced that you will find it time well spent.

 

You might even find yourself unabashedly blurting out some of your own personal and professional realizations at your next faculty meeting.

 

 

 ~ http://www.GoogleLitTrips.com ~

Google Lit Trips is the legal fictitious business name of GLT Global ED, an educational nonprofit

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Thierry Belleguic's curator insight, October 20, 2013 8:40 AM

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens. « 

It's important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members' interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I'm going to tell you that libraries are important. I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I'm going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

And I am biased, obviously and enormously: I'm an author, often an author of fiction. I write for children and for adults. For about 30 years I have been earning my living though my words, mostly by making things up and writing them down. It is obviously in my interest for people to read, for them to read fiction, for libraries and librarians to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur.

So I'm biased as a writer. But I am much, much more biased as a reader. And I am even more biased as a British citizen »