No matter who you are, your ability to read is so important to making who you are. I have spent hours myself, reading about my burning question of “Why should we read?” and its sister question, “How do we read?”
So, why should you?
The reasons for reading are as many as there are words on a page.
When I read, I feel that I am allowed access to a space that is unlike any other. I read other people’s voices on the page, screen, or cereal box. It doesn’t matter. I am a strong reader. And because I am a strong reader, I am a strong thinker.
I want you all to be strong thinkers, too.
Now, how do you read? Please do not continue your bad habits of saying you understood something when you didn’t. Please continue our good habits we’ve spent a year building of questioning the text, writing notes, considering and using new vocabulary, and if you feel that something has sparked you, even a little, do a little more investigation: for example, I reading a book called Arabat by Clive Barker. A student, a brilliant, beautiful, charming student, recommended it to me. I remember thinking Clive Barker was the man who directed the Freddy/Nightmare series a long time ago. But that wasn’t right – he did the Hellraiser movies. (How did I learn that? By reading.)
Arabat is an amazing book. Every time I read it, I feel as if I’m stepping into another world–that’s such a cliche to say, but Barker’s writing style creates a visual and textual world that I literally can almost reach out and touch. The salt air, fear, flying, hope, courage, and barnacles are so perfectly paced, described, and not overdone; I could only aspire to write such as he. His original illustrations leave me in awe. His villains are complex, cruel, and like all good villains (nice oxymoron, eh?) they want to destroy the light: one with creating a perpetual midnight, the other with creating a world of mindless purchasing and consuming zombies.
Whew. That was a ramble.
How did I go from admonishing you to read to writing a brief review of Arabat?
I guess the real question is, how would I not?
P.S. This book is out of print now. My quest? To seek as many copies I can.