Reading without a Pencil

2 Aug

I can’t remember when I couldn’t read and I don’t remember learning to read. It seems I could always open any book I could lay my hands on an read it. I don’t have a romanticised Scout Finch memory of reading the nightly paper with my father. I just think I was born reading. I asked my mom if she taught me- she said I just always seemed to know how but she would help me with the hard words.

Through the years my love of reading has served me well.
I could escape into a book when the real life views were not so pleasant.
I could learn as much as I wanted to learn without having to wait for someone to teach me.
and later… I could share these books I love with others.

However, before I could get to the paid sharing, i.e. teaching, I had to read a lot. I learned to read not just for entertainment but for the complex and sometimes narcissistic pleasure of decoding, deconstructing, and critiquing a text. As such a reader, the pencil was always at hand crammed behind my ear, placed as a bookmark, or languishing in my mouth…but always within quick reach to jot a note.

So, since at least Mr Weeks AP Lit class and through four subsequent English departments I have been tagging every book that has passed through my hands in my made up code of understanding.

Today I was reading, The Catcher in the Rye, for no good reason other than I didn’t remember the main character’s name so that doesn’t qualify as having really read it for me. I am about half way through and I realized there is no pencil to be seen. And it was shocking. I am not longer reading for the professor who will engage me or the students I sought out connections for…I am reading for me- the little girl who couldn’t keep her hands off of any book.

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2 Responses to “Reading without a Pencil”

  1. Kelly Efurd Lawson August 4, 2010 at 4:50 am #

    Great post. I always love it when you blog.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Three Step Plan « Roots & Reflections - January 10, 2013

    […] having my reading plan on my device gives me. I can do it anywhere. However, I am a bit of a paper junkie so not having the actual text in  my hands is sometimes offsetting. I can’t believe that  I […]

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