Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers

Slice of Life Tuesday: More on #bookaday (and Giving Books a Chance)

6 Comments

I’ve challenged myself this summer to do more reading and writing. I returned from my writing conference with many ideas for writing — both for myself and for my students. My #bookaday challenge is fun! I re-read many books, and found five new ones that are on my “to do” list. I’ve plugged along at a pretty good pace, and I’ve been thankful for the time to work on these activities. I love summer reading and writing! I wish I could do this all year. Then, last week, reading screeched to a halt. Stop sign! An obstacle.

Last week’s book was Seating Arrangements, by Maggie Shipstead. After reading the first two chapters, I wanted to put it away. I actually did for a few days, reading David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls instead. My daughter, a writer in college, told me to pick up the book again, and read through the 4th and 5th chapters. I told her that I was about ready to abandon the book; I can’t get into it because there’s not much happening. There’s almost too much description. I have actually turned off the “movie in my mind” because I don’t really care what the characters look like, or who is in each room, or what items are on the kitchen table. I want to know what happens! My grown, intellectual child told me that’s what writers do: they set up the characters and the scenes in the first three to four chapters, so you, as a reader, will know how to follow what may be a complicated plot.

“Oh, I see.”

(I knew that, actually.)

It’s been many years since I let a book die on my bedside table. I’m not one to give up on a book — I keep reading, even if it takes me months — and most of the time, I finish the book and give it a great review. I have read so many books that set up characters first, but I guess maybe I just want this book to keep moving…I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I have a goal of 30 books, and this is my eleventh of the summer.) “Don’t give up, Mom. Give it a chance.”

I am both willing and able to give Seating Arrangements another chance. I’m going back to chapter three today. I read the reviews again, and the back cover of the book with all the praise for this “hilarious and deeply moving” story. I want to make sure I give it “the ol’ college try” (love to my daughter for keeping me going).

Have you ever given up on a book? Pick it up again, and re-read. Maybe you’ll enjoy it. Give it a chance.

 

Author: Jennifer Sniadecki

I write about reading and literacy education. My passion is sharing titles I use for reading and writing workshop teaching. My goal is collaborating, researching, and sharing with other life-long literacy learners. Welcome to my blog!

6 thoughts on “Slice of Life Tuesday: More on #bookaday (and Giving Books a Chance)

  1. Now you can relate to students who just can’t get into a book. I hope it gets better for you. Once I nearly abandoned Love in the Time of Cholera, but I put it away for a while then picked it up when I had more time. It was not an easy read for me.

  2. My shelves are full of these part-finished books that I haven’t exactly abandoned but I’m not exactly reading either. Maybe someday…. Hope Seating Arrangements becomes both hilarious and deeply moving very soon!

  3. Every once in a while I find that that second chance is all it takes. Great lesson here for us as teachers, too!

  4. I love your description, “It’s been many years since I let a book die on my bedside table”, Jennifer! I think any reader can relate to that statement 🙂 I recently gave classic literature a second chance and found that I love it!

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