Rules for Reading


As a librarian I hear a lot about what people think about reading and apparently self-imposed rules for reading are not uncommon.

  • “I never start the next book until I have finished the one I am on.”
  • “I won’t let my child see the movie until they have finished the book.”
  • “I never skip ahead – that would be cheating.”

My Rules for Reading allow me to start books, and stop them; to skim when I want to; to whiz through pages quickly; and to flip to the middle or to the end to see where the book is going.  In a nutshell, anything works.  From these rules you may think I hardly read the book at all.  What I do is give myself permission to interact with the book in any way that works for me.  There are some books that I read slowly and savor, John Adams, by David McCollough is an example.  And some books I move forward quickly and then go back and reread passages — this is where the physical book works so much better than an ebook.

I read voraciously and have every since I learned to read.  One of my earliest memories was of waking early in the morning and reading my books to the guppies we had in a fish tank.  I have always loved to read and to be immersed in a book.  I think I read 80-90% of the books in the children’s section of the main branch of our public library, the Sunrise Branch of the Fort Lauderdale Public Library.  We, including my mother,  would go to the library and check out as many books as we could carry.  I would read all of my books, and then I would read all of hers. In general in my elementary and early teen years I figured I read a book a day and two a day on the weekend.  I did do other things, like ballet and children’s theater, and ride my bike, etc.  I loved to read. I still remember some of my favorite book titles.  Certainly I loved the shoe series by Neil Stretfield, Dancing Shoes, Theater Shoes, etc.  But I also loved the Secret of Saturn’s Rings and a trip to Saturn in a homemade rocket or the Hidden Door (that may not be the right title) about a boy who fell through a cosmic hole to land in the United States.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *