Thursday, July 11, 2013
How to Best Read
Yesterday I had the pleasure of sitting in the afternoon shade with three of my former students (siblings) and talking about books. They are embarking with their mom on a year-long homeschool journey around the country, and I had a few books I thought they would all enjoy that are set in the northeast. It felt like a book club of sorts. Questions overlapped comments. Positive responses balanced negative ones. Titles uttered by one person were filed in another person's mind for later use at the library.
Since I am leaving for a few weeks, they asked what books I was bringing with me (only A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I have not read since high school). I asked how they would decide which books to bring with them on their first excursion along the Lewis and Clark Trail in the fall. One sister said she had several downloaded on her Kindle (though, she noted, it is often difficult to get what she wants at the library because of the long reserve lists). The other two siblings will be taking real books; they love the feel of books in their hands and being able to pull another title from their bags or backpacks. One said, "Packing a bag of just books is the best part of traveling!"
For me, the real book in hand is the best way to read, even if I what I have to carry is heavier than an electronic device. I like that my preference is not generational.
Many of the people on this M5 bus (a walk-through sculpture created by Red Grooms in 1994 and on display at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center) are reading. The installation was designed before electronic readers were readily available.