Monday, August 26, 2013

Dear Reader Kid

Dear Tyler,
Hi!  I heard you've won the library reader competition five years in a row.  Awesome! And I heard the librarian asked you to, well, stop winning like that.  So, welcome to the unfairness of the world.  As hopefully lots of people have told you, the librarian was wrong.  She may have meant well, but she was wrong. 
Please don't stop reading.  You may want to consider expanding to other libraries, but keep reading.  Don't let one adult talk you out of being a voracious reader.  I know she told you it's not fair, you're taking all the books and that's why the other kids can't read, but she's wrong.  I like to believe she meant well, that she was trying to give other people opportunities to excel like you and just not phrasing it correctly.  And I know they got burned by that kid who lied a while back. 
I hope you read anyway.  In spite of.  Regardless of reward.  I participated in a Read-a-thon back in the day and won tickets to a basketball game.  The next year I couldn't get my neighbors to sponsor me anymore because I had read more than they expected and they didn't want to owe me (and the charity really) lots of money.  So, I didn't do the read-a-thon anymore.  I found other ways to raise money for charity but I kept reading.  I haven't done 63 in about a month like you, but I still read lots.  You keep it up.  There are all sorts of studies and boring reasons that reading makes you a better, more empathetic, person with a greater understanding of the world, but the important part is that you know it's fun.  As you probably have learned, there's a lot of school reading where they make you examine themes and symbolism and write papers about books and sometimes that can make you forget how reading just for fun is enjoyable.  So, read on.  The more you keep reading on your own, the more likely you'll hang onto the reading long after folks make you read, and that will be the best part.