Article by Ann M. Zydek, WCPL Director
Are you an avid reader? Reading unlocks academic, professional and social opportunities and can transform your life.
I’m reading Donalyn Miller’s, Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits. She shares her passion for reading, books, and reading communities. As a reading teacher Donalyn worries cultivating reading habits including daily reading isn’t part of the curriculum at many schools or during home activities. Many children miss the reading experiences that lead to being fluent adult readers.
For Donalyn, a “wild” reader is one whose reading is just part of who they are. Books are an essential daily accessory. Reading is as ordinary as eating lunch! Wild readers read because they love it. They dedicate time to read and devour books. She admits adults find the biggest obstacle to reading is life’s daily demands that sap time and energy, yet wild readers still read during free time, anywhere!
What books, authors and series are you following? Wild readers make lists of books they want to read. They self-select reading material, plan to read beyond their current book, and show reading preferences. Many check out author websites, book displays, award booklists and get recommendations from family, friends and librarians. Wild readers love libraries and bookstores. They share their reading with others and join reading communities like Goodreads, Shelfari or local reading groups.
Our library reading communities include Summer/Winter Reading Programs, Off the Shelf Reading Group, Writers Club, and storyhours. The 2014 Summer Reading Program had 1,618 participants. Nearly 3.9 million book pages were read! Special thanks to our area leaders, readers, businesses, educators and library staff who recognized the importance of “wild” reading during the summertime and shared time, talent and treasure to make it so.
With children returning to school, remember that a library card is an important school supply. The comic creator Stan Lee said, “The smartest card in my wallet? It’s a library card.” Do you want to connect with “wild” readers who value reading for the “personal” connections—the way books speak to our hearts and elicit emotions such as laughter and tears? Visit the library’s booth at Warsaw’s September 5th “Literary Arts” First Friday. Be inspired to cultivate your own “wild” reading habit.