Saturday, April 12, 2008

DEAR - Drop Everything and Read!

I've never, ever, ever understood people who don't read. Strangely, kids are much more honest about it. "I just don't like it. I've tried it, but I can never finish." I can respect that brand of open admission much more than I can the lame excuses some adults give. My favorite is "I don't have time." For some reason this is almost always delivered by a bubble head in the very midst of wasting time on something stupid.

Wow, Barbi Jo, you have time to compare fourteen different shades of pink nail polish here at the CVS cosmetics counter to waste time during your kid's soccer practice. Couldn't squeak in a chapter of Parenting for Dummies?


Anyway, for those of us with completely empty schedules, unhampered by the grueling daily grind of driving, picking out nail polish, and yapping on the telephone about how weird the Olinger kid's creepy aunt who reads all the time is... there's a really cool thing happening today.

Drop Everything and Read Day is today! The idea (which is more completely and articulately explained in the link) is to take time out to read. Schools, libraries, and bookstores around the country will be having events. All you really have to do is show up with a book, park your rear, and read.

One of the many reasons I mourned the final chapter of the Harry Potter saga was the death of a tradition a little like this. With the release of every new book I made special plans with all the kids and adults who were Potter-obsessed. We'd do the all-night squats at the book store. We'd clutch our brand new copies close, then we'd curl up somewhere together and read it aloud, or have multiple-marathon-reads. By mid-morning everyone was accusing everyone else of cheating to race to the end. But we'd read our Potter installments and bonded. And visions of quidditch still danced in our heads.

That's why I don't understand someone who doesn't like books. To me, it's like refusing free vacations. You don't like books? You don't want to be transported to another place, meet fascinating new people, have adventures, fall in love, learn new things without really trying?

For serious?

I doubt you'd be here, at the Fictionistas' Blog, if you were one of those people.

So join me, for at least a half hour, in dropping everything to read today. Maybe we'll bump into one another at Hogwarts... or at Barton Park, where I hear the Dashwood girls are entertaining Colonel Brandon for tea... or in Fagin's grungy hidey hole, where Dodger is emptying his pockets with booty from pockets he's emptied... or... anywhere, really.


  1. I can honestly say that I cannot even imagine a day without sitting down to read - something! Anything!

    It's one of the reasons I get up in the morning, sometimes. I want to have my cup of tea and read the book that I had to put down the night before, if just for a few minutes...

    I don't understand people who don't read. I meet a lot of them, now - students who don't have time for reading, or doing their homework, or much else. It's ridiculous, but that's what they always say.

    Not, "I don't like reading."
    Not, "I don't enjoy reading."
    Not, "I can't find anything I enjoy."

    Just, "I don't have time."


    Great post!

  2. Well, i'll join you! speaking as a studant with pressing deadlines, i always take time to unwind by reading for an hour or so in bed before sleeping. I couldn't imagine ever NOT reading. Sometime i won't be in the mood for anything we own and i'll take a couple of days off, but you can bet i'll be reading something else within the week.
    I'm being sad this year and recording the books i've read, so far i've finished 42 books and i'm half way through my 43rd. (one of those books was one by you Chrissy)

    I really don't understand why people say they don't read. You can ALWAYS make time for a book.

  3. This is a cool idea. I hadn't heard of it, but I'm not surprised. I'm always the last to hear. LOL

    What's funny is I've been on the couch reading since Thursday. I've read...four books and have at least two or three more I want to read over the weekend.

    I don't always find time to read, but I will make the time when I know that's missing out of my routine.

    My biggest problem is that I have to be able to finish a book all the way through. I can put them down to go to bed or whatever but I hate doing it. If it's a thick book or a mind bender, then I know it's going to take longer. I think it's the elongated sense of escape. I've always been that way. :) Great post!

  4. I love it!! Thanks for sharing DEAR day with us. I'm going to do my part! LOLOL

  5. Great post! I love to read to unwind, or just to leave the moment. Books free up my mind, get my imagination soaring, and for a few moments, they transport me to a different world. They are mentally refreshing; my get-out-of my-own-head-time.

    I don't understand people that don't read either...they have no idea what they're missing out on.

    Books are ideas,thoughts, dreams, fantasies of real people, like you and I. What's the basis of our world? Dreams, thoughts, ideas, fantasies...

  6. I am a glutton. There is a book in every room of my house in case I get stuck there with a few minutes to spare. I'll bring my book to the ballpark today.

    I'm 31 for yhis year--but one of them was five-in-one. So 36.

  7. See that's cuz you guys iz all cool n stuff.

  8. Like you, I simply can't fathom not reading. I get very cranky if I go too long without reading.

    One of my biggest fears of going on vacation is running out of books to read. I've been known to pack more books than clothes.


  9. I don't understand not reading either, but sadly, I'm married to one of those people. Now that Tom Clancy isn't writing any of his own books anymore, Mr. brice seems to believe there's nothing else for him to read other than patents and law cases.


  10. Thank you for sharing DEAR day with us. I could not imagine a day without reading of some sort...even if it is just a few minutes in the car while I am between pick ups for the kids. I always have a book with me.

    I have tried to instill this love into my children but I just cannot get it through to them which makes me sad. I am not one of those parents who did not read to their kids or encourage them to get a book each time we are at the bookstore, but they just don't seem to have the love that I do!

    My poor brother who is in his thirties like his dear older sister is forced to endure my efforts to have everyone around me read. I do have to say that I have come up with quite a few good finds for him recently and he has been on a constant reading streak for about a month and half...I just keeping bringing him a new book each time he gets near the end of the last one.

    So, I guess there is hope that one day my kids will embrace reading too.

    Again, thanks for sharing DEAR day with us.

  11. OK, so I was at a conference all day, so I had no time to read, but does it count if I dropped everything and bought tons of books????

  12. my kid was one of those who didn't read. Now he's discovered the cirque du freak series, so now he's one of those who only reads a certain thing.

    but at least he's reading.

    My other son, reads voraciously. He's 10 years old and reads adult sci-fi. Funny how opposite they are.

    I read a lot and when I don't read, I feel like something's missing.

  13. In grade school we had DEAR and PARP -- Parents As Reading Partners. The tallest student in the school got to dress up as a purple creature and dance around the gym and pump up reading by offering prizes. And it got the parents involved. Though I never needed incentives as a kid, I think it's a great idea.