Allison's Book Bag

Musings Meme: Current Reads #3

Posted on: March 11, 2013

MusingMondaysWhat are you reading right now?
What do you think of it?
Why did you chose it?

One of the questions that Musing Mondays asks readers do is to discuss one’s current read. My latest is The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma, which I picked up at a book sale because it focused on a reading streak that the author started with her dad. I thought I might relate to it, as well as enjoy the author’s reminisces about children’s books.

Like Ozma, the person in my life most responsible for my reading habits is my dad. In my earliest years, he read to me at bedtime. Although I don’t remember when or why he stopped the habit, I know that I missed it afterwards. Throughout my childhood, my dad poured over reading lists to find the best children’s books to purchase for me. Thanks to him, friends were always in awe of my large personal library! When I moved to the United States in my thirties, my children’s books were one of the first things he packaged up to send me. As I’d been trying to switch to adult books, I thought the postage spent had been a huge mistake. It wasn’t. Last, in recent years, because of my dad’s desire to introduce classics to my younger siblings before they attended college, we shared an online family reading discussion time. I enjoyed the opportunity to talk children’s books with my entire family, including my husband.

Initially, I enjoyed The Reading Promise because Ozma lived up to my expectations. She explained how the reading streak came about and even included a funny anecdote about going to a restaurant to celebrate having read for one hundred nights in a row, setting a new goal to read one thousand nights in a row, and then trying to explain these to the restaurant owner.  Then I started to feel disappointed, because Ozma’s reminisces seemed random and not specifically related to books. Still, I felt fascinated to read of her dad’s obsession with bikes, her morbid fear of all things related to J.F. Kennedy, and especially of her trials with shopping for a prom dress. The latter particularly interested me, because Ozma had only her dad to help–and I too grew up in a single parent family home.  Near the end, Ozma returned to her memories about the reading streak, including telling one time of how her dad had to interrupt her at a drama practice so that they could read before midnight and therefore stay committed to their reading streak. Last, she talked about her dad’s changing role as a librarian. In the years before his retirement, her dad was apparently forbidden to read books, but instead had to show students how to use computers. This crushed him, because his entire career had been about encouraging children to read. The Reading Promise is one book I’ll take with me on my annual visit with my family to share with my dad.

What is your current read?

4 Responses to "Musings Meme: Current Reads #3"

Thank you, Allison, for bringing The Reading Promise with you on your visit home. I certainly related to Alice Ozma’s father in his being a single parent (although unlike him I finally remarried), in his reading of books to her, and in his reading of books to students (although I did the latter in my classroom instead of in the library as he did). I also appreciated the numerous references in The Reading Promise to books which I’d read for my own pleasure, to you, and/or with my second family. I also sympathized with him in his changing role before retirement and appreciated even more that I was free to read to my students throughout my years as a grade five teacher.

I’m glad you liked The Reading Promise! It brought back many fond memories for me too. How nice it would be if every parent and child took on a similar promise. You’re definitely the reason I read. The book also inspired me to start reading stories aloud again to my students.

Like you I always had books around as a child however I don’t recall my parents reading to me. I’m sure they did but I just can’t remember it which is kinda sad. Here’s my MM:

You can turn it around by being a parent who reads. 🙂 And no matter what, you obviously ended up being a lover of books. I feel most sad for those children who don’t have either.

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