This is an essay by Brandon Monk. “I remembered that, and, remembering that, I remembered everything.” Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I’ve written before about the idea that taking a trip down reading memory lane is a worthwhile way to re-kindle your reading interest. An old favorite–a book you read for pleasure as a child–can take you back to the days when reading was a care-free experience. Often, the mandatory reading school imposes robs us of the pleasure. Those who continue to read find ways to carve out time to read the things they like. But, what if you have no pleasant reading memory? I recently read

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This is an essay by Brandon Monk. “I remembered that, and, remembering that, I remembered everything.” Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I’ve written before about the idea that taking a trip down reading memory lane is a worthwhile way to re-kindle your reading interest. An old favorite–a book you read for pleasure as a child–can take you back to the days when reading was a care-free experience. Often, the mandatory reading school imposes robs us of the pleasure. Those who continue to read find ways to carve out time to read the things they like. But, what if you have no pleasant reading memory? I recently read

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Posted in Books, Learning, Reading

This essay was written by Williesha Morris. “Ender, the enemy’s gate is down.” The double meaning wasn’t lost while reading “Ender’s Game” or watching the movie adaptation. “Ender’s Game” marks the first time I’ve ever purposefully read a book just before seeing a movie. I typically avoid watching movie versions of books for fear it would ruin my carefully, although not well-formed, visualizations of the story. Though I have a faulty memory, snippets of books like “The Secret Life of Bees,” “The Notebook” and “Cold Mountain” have not been tarnished by the dramatizations on the big screen, even though many of these movies have been critically acclaimed. I just can’t bear to

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This essay was written by Williesha Morris. “Ender, the enemy’s gate is down.” The double meaning wasn’t lost while reading “Ender’s Game” or watching the movie adaptation. “Ender’s Game” marks the first time I’ve ever purposefully read a book just before seeing a movie. I typically avoid watching movie versions of books for fear it would ruin my carefully, although not well-formed, visualizations of the story. Though I have a faulty memory, snippets of books like “The Secret Life of Bees,” “The Notebook” and “Cold Mountain” have not been tarnished by the dramatizations on the big screen, even though many of these movies have been critically acclaimed. I just can’t bear to

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Before I even begin, I have a little confession to make. Since the age of five or six or so, I’ve been as afraid of the dark, as I am enchanted by it. When the sun goes down, it seems anything can happen, but most often what happens is bad news. After reading Roald Dahl’s Witches and seeing the movie for reading class in elementary school, I had nightmares for months. The settling noises my parents’ log cabin made come evening had me skittish; jumping any time the floor creaked (which was often). In my 20s, I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first

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This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Before I even begin, I have a little confession to make. Since the age of five or six or so, I’ve been as afraid of the dark, as I am enchanted by it. When the sun goes down, it seems anything can happen, but most often what happens is bad news. After reading Roald Dahl’s Witches and seeing the movie for reading class in elementary school, I had nightmares for months. The settling noises my parents’ log cabin made come evening had me skittish; jumping any time the floor creaked (which was often). In my 20s, I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by Julie Bates. Why Share Reading? Reading is a one person activity – right? Well, that depends. Sometimes reading can be a wonderful escape from the real world and the tensions that send you seeking a universe far, far away. Other times nothing enriches the experience of a good read than sharing it with another.  Good shared reads allow you to share the wonder of exploring alien worlds, compare notes on exotic recipes or decide if the book the media suddenly adores is worth picking up or is exponentially overrated. It Builds Intimacy My husband and I read each other’s books. He’s learned to appreciate my eclectic

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This essay was written by Julie Bates. Why Share Reading? Reading is a one person activity – right? Well, that depends. Sometimes reading can be a wonderful escape from the real world and the tensions that send you seeking a universe far, far away. Other times nothing enriches the experience of a good read than sharing it with another.  Good shared reads allow you to share the wonder of exploring alien worlds, compare notes on exotic recipes or decide if the book the media suddenly adores is worth picking up or is exponentially overrated. It Builds Intimacy My husband and I read each other’s books. He’s learned to appreciate my eclectic

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Everyone loves a hero. Except when we don’t. Because let’s face it, sometimes heroes are hard to take. In a less-than-perfect world full of less-than-perfect people where right and wrong exist among so many shades of gray, sometimes traditionally heroic protagonists fall flat, even when they triumph against their “evil” foes. That’s where anti-heroes come in. With fewer redeeming attributes and more Achilles heels than your typical protagonist, anti-heroes show readers another side of human character, however disagreeable.  Inspiring reactions ranging from sympathy to disgust, literary anti-heroes figure among the world’s most famous literary icons. Who could forget the emotionally fragile but patently obnoxious

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This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Everyone loves a hero. Except when we don’t. Because let’s face it, sometimes heroes are hard to take. In a less-than-perfect world full of less-than-perfect people where right and wrong exist among so many shades of gray, sometimes traditionally heroic protagonists fall flat, even when they triumph against their “evil” foes. That’s where anti-heroes come in. With fewer redeeming attributes and more Achilles heels than your typical protagonist, anti-heroes show readers another side of human character, however disagreeable.  Inspiring reactions ranging from sympathy to disgust, literary anti-heroes figure among the world’s most famous literary icons. Who could forget the emotionally fragile but patently obnoxious

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Posted in Books, Reading

This is an essay by Brandon Monk. The beauty of reading is, “You can use the powers you acquire from books to live better yourself and to do something for the people around you.” – Malcolm X The purpose of this essay is to discuss the idea of reading and to provide an additional reason to read, if you need one. We have already discussed reading for pleasure and education is, in my mind, the second reason to read as I set out previously. The third is perspective and we will discuss that reason soon. Remember, there is overlap between the ideas. So, don’t get hung up reading for too narrow a

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This is an essay by Brandon Monk. The beauty of reading is, “You can use the powers you acquire from books to live better yourself and to do something for the people around you.” – Malcolm X The purpose of this essay is to discuss the idea of reading and to provide an additional reason to read, if you need one. We have already discussed reading for pleasure and education is, in my mind, the second reason to read as I set out previously. The third is perspective and we will discuss that reason soon. Remember, there is overlap between the ideas. So, don’t get hung up reading for too narrow a

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This is an essay by Brandon Monk. Please note: This essay originally appeared in multiple parts but has been compiled on medium.com as one 21 minute read. “Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”― Stephen King Many of our teachers and schools have failed us. They took the fun out of reading by making it an assignment. They should have showed us another side to reading. The side that makes reading a superior form of entertainment. Yes, even superior to TV. I’ve talked about how

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This is an essay by Brandon Monk. Please note: This essay originally appeared in multiple parts but has been compiled on medium.com as one 21 minute read. “Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”― Stephen King Many of our teachers and schools have failed us. They took the fun out of reading by making it an assignment. They should have showed us another side to reading. The side that makes reading a superior form of entertainment. Yes, even superior to TV. I’ve talked about how

Read more

Posted in Books, Reading

This is an essay written by Brandon Monk. Please note: This essay originally appeared in multiple parts but has been compiled on medium as one 21 minute read. I have been thinking about the answer to the question, “Why Read,” for about two years. The question first became my focus as I reflected on why I had not read the first years out of formal education. At the time, I think I was desperate for answers and lonely. I read for answers to the big questions like how to exist and even why exist. As I started to read again I tried to think about why it was that I was

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This is an essay written by Brandon Monk. Please note: This essay originally appeared in multiple parts but has been compiled on medium as one 21 minute read. I have been thinking about the answer to the question, “Why Read,” for about two years. The question first became my focus as I reflected on why I had not read the first years out of formal education. At the time, I think I was desperate for answers and lonely. I read for answers to the big questions like how to exist and even why exist. As I started to read again I tried to think about why it was that I was

Read more

Posted in Books, Reading