My heart is heavy. After watching the news yesterday, I went in search of a book to read. My plan was to have a bath and escape the reality of world events for a time. I pulled a favourite author off the shelf, Rex Stout: one of his books that I’ve read many times over. I was comforted by the familiarity of the characters, their banter, and the old brownstone in which they live and work.
I often speak to the power of words and yesterday I proved to myself their power in my own life: I sought to read and write, both, for comfort.
This week is Read In Week in Edmonton: a week long event designed to celebrate reading and bring awareness to the importance of literacy. A variety of community members – parents, grandparents, media personalities, politicians, artists and athletes – are invited to read in classrooms throughout the city.
As teachers, we rarely need an excuse to read a good book. We know they have the power to transform lives: to entertain, inform, uplift and inspire. Books make us laugh and cry. They provoke thought, spark conversation and spur ideas. And yesterday, I was reminded of the escape they can provide on difficult days.
Today, as a guest reader at my former school, I look forward to reading A Perfect Day by Lane Smith and Peddles by Elizabeth Rose Stanton to several classes of Kindergarten, grades 1 and 2. I’ve chosen The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore for the grades 3 to 6 classes – always a fun choice in celebration of books!
In these days of confusion and despair, let us be distracted by a good book. Let us find love in the world and hope in each other.