Summer provides ample opportunity to squeeze in some time for reading. Each summer, I try to catch up on my preferential reading and do less purposeful reading.
I spend most school terms reading through as many professional books as I can — most having to do with leadership, teaching and coaching. But summer opens up the possibility to consume some books that aren’t necessarily geared toward professional growth or personal information.
Two recommendations made by our high school library aide and reader extraordinaire, Robin Weible, are “Tis” by Frank McCourt and “The Great Santini” by Pat Conroy, which I currently am consuming.
Reading always has been a staple around our house, and most of the boys don’t complain too much when we suggest that they read for an hour or so, but we don’t push too hard and try to lead by example.
My mother read voraciously and, while I read more than the average child, I certainly wasn’t considered a bookworm. But the example always was there, and as I continued to grow up, it seemed like second nature to read. Anything would do: comic books, engine manuals, magazines and even the odd book. It was difficult to commit to a novel because it just seemed too long and there were too many other important things to do, especially during the summer.
What reading has done to increase the quality of my life, how my views are informed, why I believe what I do and where I see myself in our culture cannot be overstated. Reading has provided insight for understanding issues and has given me a sense of empathy for others that I simply wouldn’t have otherwise.
Reading, quite simply, does to the intellect what good food does for the soul or what good music does for the spirit.
At least that’s what I think.