Wednesday, September 5, 2012


This is the first in a series of posts to encourage adults and families to take up the challenge and read books from a wide range of genres.
The idea came from an article by Virginia Woolf, "Why Do We Need to Read?"Part 1 and "Why Do We Need to Read?"Part 2, where she suggested reading from many areas and disciplines to give our mind plenty of material to work with.
Today we live in a world of absurdity in relation to reading the written word. On one hand there are people that are besotted with spending hours each day reading material which expresses the tiniest feelings and fancies  through digital media. On another, we are presented with an avalanche of technical data or 'terms and conditions' that we are supposed to read before we can place our short comment or buy a ticket on many online sites. And then there is the concerning statistics to do with the level of reading competency, not only of children but also adults throughout the world today.
However many people remain passionate about reading books, and my hope in this series is that these posts will have an effect on our attitude to reading, bringing a balance and an influence of 'normality' to the communities in which we live.
The question - "What life changing book have you read?" was put to Sir John Kirwan. Here is his reply ~
"I read constantly. Books are my soul food and one of my tools for getting away. I remember going on tour with (former All Black coach) Wayne Smith and I'd never read a book before. He said, "JK, it's time you read a book." So he gave me THE PALADIN, about Winston Churchill's personal spy. I read it in a day and I've never stopped reading since. It changed my life. I don't know what I'd do without books. I have and iPad but I've gone back to that touchy feel y thing of books. I like that. When I buy  a book, I write the date and what's happening right then, what I'm feeling or what's happening. So there are these books in my library with notes on the inside, like, 'Got contract to coach Japan.' "
From NZ Herald Thursday July 19 2012. Twelve Questions section.
What a great story of an immediate change and wholehearted commitment to reading books! 
 * If you are not a reader or always read the same sort of books, start by choosing a new area that is attractive to you. 
 * Ask friends what they like to read and which books in particular they have enjoyed. 
 * Your local library probably has tons of books you would enjoy but have no idea exist. So go for an hour to browse the shelves or ask a librarian which books they would recommend in a particular area.
 * A trip to a bookshop to wander and browse can be helpful, even to watch what other people are picking up/buying.
 * Some online bookstores and reality bookshops have a Top 10 or Most Popular list. This may be a good place to start to broaden out your reading diet, but I am loathed to suggest following such lists, as reading like our taste for food or music, is individual, and it's important to develop our own senses in what to read next. 
 * Many newspapers and publications review an assortment of books.
 * Like John Kirwan, some people love reading books to remove themselves from their present circumstances, and have, as my husband calls it, a holiday. 
 * Others, again like John Kirwan, find reading gives them "soul food", feeding their heart and mind, connecting with who they are. 
 * The need to stay up to date with current thoughts or information is another reason people read books.
 * To satisfy one's curiosity or inquisitiveness often causes people to get reading.
 * Whatever your reason is to choose to read a particular book, a book  must stimulate thought or imagination and feed your mind. It may make you laugh or cry, or bring a wonderful new dimension to leisure and relaxation as John Kirwan found.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ go for a trip to the library to borrow some books from sections of the library you have not borrowed from before.

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