we shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. – b. f. skinner


the teatime reader


walking around

the neighborhood

on this cool fall day

and seeing

a young child

sitting all alone

under a tree


a book


happily lost

in the  

magical world

of her


he that loves reading has everything within his reach. 

– william godwin


55 responses »

  1. That is very true. I’ve had some teachers that have taught books and some that taught learning. The ones that taught learning remain bright in my memory. I, too, Beth, love to see children reading as did my Dad. He would always take the time stop for few minutes to watch a child who was reading or writing.He did not have a great deal of formal education as he had to start work very young to help support his family. But he had a love of learning that was contagious. That love of learning eventually propelled him into upper mangement at his job and served him well all through his life.

    Great Post Beth. Thank You..

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Best thing EVER!

    You won’t learn that in school. Not with the horrible books kids are FORCED to read and hate. I wouldn’t read them either. Dead parents, concentration camps, abuse, nothing uplifting, exciting or fun. Everyone likes to read something different but all are forced to read the same thing. Life’s not like that. No wonder so many kids refuse to read books. They learned early, to hate them. Skinner is so right. I think schools today don’t want kids to read. It’s one way to have an uneducated society that is more easily controlled.

    The scene you describe is so beautiful:) I love to read and always have. Seeing that child under the tree inspired your poem and could be a painting. Fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i have never forced books upon my classes as a teacher or my own family as a mother or grandmother. i think exposing kids to books, reading them to them, with them, in front of them, and talking about, get excited about, laughing and crying about them, shows them the joys and wonders of reading. these actions have much more impact. thank you for your comments, and yes it was absolutely an inspirational scene on many levels )


  3. Unfortunately, my school as decided to “drink the Kool Aide” of “guided reading”, so all of our kids are constantly assessed and measured and told their “reading level”. Most of them equate reading with learning math facts. I am being a complete subversive; I refuse to assign “mandatory” nightly reading time to my fifth graders, and I am NOT going to “level” my classroom library.
    Sorry. This is a topic that is very close to my heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i understand, carl. and i think when you are older and can take a ‘great books’ course it helps to better explain many things and expose you to many viewpoints and classic pieces of literature, however it is important not to forget reading for the pure joy and freedom of the experience.


  5. My eldest sister Beth gave my brother Fred and I the gift of books. She read to us every night for hours. She chose the best books — Treasure Island, A Christmas Carol. They are “great books” but we learned that they are great stories. We got hooked on the classics before we’d lost our baby teeth.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My youngest is dyslexic and at 12 she can’t read the books that she would like, and refuses to listen to audios. It is so hard to be a reader and see a child who loved stories so much, leave that world and get into different habits that dont involve reading.
    I really hope someday in the future she finds that joy once more.


    • i hope so too, tric. one thing i did, when one of my daughters moved away from reading for fun for a time, was to go to the library with her, find old picture book favorites of hers, and we sat on the floor looking through them, and laughing and retelling the stories. it doesn’t matter what she is reading, it is that she is looking through books, enjoying them, they are probably her enemy at this point in her life so why not offer her the opportunity for some fun exposure to print if possible ?


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