I taught High School English at Alternative Schools for ten years before becoming a bookseller. The reality was that I WAS a bookseller then too. I am and always have been first and foremost a reader. I just happen to have good interpersonal skills too, which are important both in teaching and in running a shop. The one thing I tried to do with my, somtimes difficult, students was to encourage them to read. I wanted them to know that there was a world outside of the one they were familiar with. A world full of people and ideas that belonged to them and that they belonged within.
It isn’t often as a teacher working with “at-risk” youth that one is rewarded. The following is a facebook post by a former student of mine. He was a reader before I met him, but it means a lot that he is still.
“I really wish the world would get back/more into reading. Books have taught me so much, and they continue to teach me so much. A good story properly written can teach you lessons that would have taken you years and many hardships to figure out on your own, books have taken me so many places that no other activity ever will be able to. I’m so grateful for all of my teachers that inspired me to read, they have taught me to accept every situation I am thrown into and to never give up, to never surrender. Books have helped me reach a state of thinking, understanding, and clarity that I would have never been able to find on my own.” Tyson Beswick
I also wish people would get back to reading more…