Myra Bean’s column

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 17, 2007

Now let’s read some fun stuff

By Myra Bean

A few things have been going through my mind that have nothing to do with sports. Can you imagine?

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Recreational reading is my stress relief, my escape you might say.

One would think getting all this information on the different teams would not be stressful, but it is. You have to say things just right.

There is little room for error because you are dealing with someone’s possible future and you want all the stats and reports to be just so.

One thing going through my mind was the summer reading list and some information that came across the NIE (newspaper in education) forum.

The reading list is so short. I know that I read more than 40 full-length novels this summer. The novels are from 250 to 350 pages in length or maybe more. I have not read any of the Harry Potter books.

I like the  movies. The movies I have seen in which I read the books first I did not like.

When I see the movie and then read the books, I enjoy the books more so I am waiting.

I did this with Jurassic Park and it worked fine. I did it backwards with the John Grisham books and I did not enjoy the movies as much.

My favorite series I discovered this summer was: Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich.

They are the bomb. There are 13 in that series so far. “Bounty Hunters of the world Unite.” I have read all of them twice this summer alone plus other stuff.

Let me get back to the reading list. My problem with required books to read is that most people do not read them for fun. They read them because they have to.

I have always said in order to enjoy reading you have to read what you like.

Now, The Panolian publisher John Howell can read just about anything on any subject. He is a very well-read person. My take on John is that he is a deep thinker and observer. What John feels about a subject will come out in his writing.

He may not be as vocal about topics as some of us are.

Some people think that because others are quiet that they are stuck up or mean or standoffish. That is not always the case. People described above are usually vocal and brash.

The books I like to read are entertaining, light reading, and as full of information and facts about places, people and world happenings as required reading.

When I first saw the reading list, I went “yuk.” I did not see any light reading which would have made me a future reader.

On the NIE forum, members were saying that teachers were complaining that students were not reading.

That is not so. They may not read that stuff on the reading list, but they read magazines and things on the internet about subjects and people who interest them.

Hey, hey, they read Harry Potter books, Judy Bloom books and Goosebumps. It may not be rocket science but it is reading.

Just because it is not in someone’s required curriculum reading list does not mean kids are not reading. It may mean we need to take a closer look at that list and add some more interesting reading to it.

I admit the writers of old were good, but so are today’s writers who use everyday words that we understand. Maybe the reading list needs to be a little lighter to entice the minds to explore some of that other stuff later on.

Granted, I don’t have a doctorate degree but I know good writing when I read it.

Happy reading!!