This is a piece four years in the making. Actually, it’s been even longer than that.
I’ve always loved reading. It’s why I became an English teacher. Although I could always explain why reading was important as a practical skill, I really wanted to be able to explain why reading was MORE than just a skill. It is life-giving and formative in ways that go beyond the mere skill of decoding.
It wasn’t until I quit my teaching job four years ago, though, that I finally got a chance to research what I’d always known instinctively about reading. This piece attempts to sum up what I’ve learned by highlighting two recent books that form a striking harmony.
But first, I tell my favorite teaching story:
“Did you know you are smarter than the fastest computer on the planet?” I whispered conspiratorially to my second hour sophomores.