Thursday, 3 March 2016

52x52: Overt Reading: Be a Role Model Reader

52 random acts of kindness that each take under 52 seconds. One action each week, over a year takes less than an hour of your life.

Today is World Book Day and books will be read, bought and talked about, children will dress as their favourite book characters to go to school and books will be celebrated worldwide. What about the rest of the year?

Often we take for granted what we have and then can't appreciate what we don't have. I grew up in a house where books were just there. I saw people reading and expected that that was what one did. People read. I had no idea that this was not always the case. That years later I would work with children who did not have books at home. That years later I would meet adults who did not read because they chose not to or could not. That years later I would meet children in Nairobi and Mumbai, who had so little that when posing for a picture, each one would hold a book in front of them with pride, a sign of achievement, hope and as their most prized possession. 

Today I can, not only read a book in print (a book-book) but on a tablet or phone or even listen to an audiobook. It is wonderful there are so many formats but if no one knows I am reading, how will others know that this is what I do. How can I be a role model to the children and young people I work with and share my love of books if they don't see me read. And yes I could tell them but showing rather than telling has more power.

So now, at times I leave my phone and tablet aside and take a book-book with me and as overtly as I can, read my book (especially on local buses where I rarely see people read). I read in plain sight.

So today's task takes less than 52 seconds, just pick up a book from your shelf that you want to read and pop it in your bag or on the side, ready for you to take with you to work or study or the park or cafe or anywhere, so you can show that you love reading and maybe be a role model for future generations of readers. 

Be a role model reader.

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