New Year’s Resolution of 2012: Developing a Love of Reading

“Here is a simple fact: Wide, abundant reading is the surest route out of poverty and the limitations that impose themselves on the less literate.”  —Mike Schmoker in Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning

As a teacher, one of my most important roles is to help my students develop a lifelong love of reading. In third grade, my students loved to read chapter books like Charlotte’s Web and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Now in Kindergarten, I find joy in teaching my students the very elementary stages of reading from sounding out letters to blending them together to make three-letter words. But as I encouraged my students to “Read, read, read!” every day, I was being a poor role model outside of the classroom.

Since an early age, I already disliked reading. My parents would take my brother and me to the library once a week, but I often preferred to borrow comic books and magazines, anything easy so I wouldn’t have to read on top of the load at school. From elementary school all the way up to graduate school, I felt that teachers sucked the joy out of reading and made reading a chore. I was assigned to read this or that many pages or chapters by a deadline and was told to mark down notes in the margins to prepare for a discussion, write an essay, do a project, or pass a comprehension test. Hardly did I have the chance to read just for the sake of reading and enjoying a good book.

Which is why at the beginning of 2012, I hoped to develop my own love of reading by choosing books that I wanted to read. I made one new year’s resolution, which was to read one book each month or 12 books in the year. I also tried to mix it up with both spiritual and secular books from fiction to non-fiction books.

Looking back at 2012, I see how far I have grown in my love of reading, finishing 15 books! Possibly for the first time ever, I accomplished and even went beyond my new year’s resolution! Sometimes I stayed at home just to read a good book, which was unheard of in years past. Now I can share the joys of reading with my students and truly mean it! Here is my list of completed books in 2012, including my favorite quote from each book:

1. Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan (3/3/2012)

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

2. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper (3/9/2012)

“Love is not Christ’s making much of us or making life easy. Love is doing what he must do, at great cost to himself (and often to us), to enable us to enjoy making much of him forever.”

3. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (3/17/2012)

“Anything, even a sin, which has the total effect of moving close up to the Enemy makes against us in the long run.”

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (3/18/2012)

“And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (3/23/2012)

“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion.”

6. Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper (3/31/2012)

“The deepest longing of the human heart and the deepest meaning of heaven and earth are summed up in this: the glory of God.”

7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (4/20/2012)

“‘You love me. Real or not real?’
I tell him, ‘Real.'”

8. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (5/9/2012)

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

9. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis (5/18/2012)

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.”

10. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer (6/27/2012)

“Or if he must see them go, one after one, he will scarcely feel a sense of loss, for having the Source of all things he has in One all satisfaction, all pleasure, all delight. Whatever he may lose he has actually lost nothing, for he now has it all in One, and he has it purely, legitimately and forever.”

11. The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis (7/17/2012)

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

12. Bossypants by Tina Fey (10/3/2012)

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”

13. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (10/13/2012)

“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

14. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (10/30/2012)

“My mother had always told her kids: if you’re about to do something, and you want to know if it’s a bad idea, imagine seeing it printed in the paper for all the world to see.”

15. Uneclipsing the Son by Rick Holland (12/31/2012)

“When Jesus defined eternal life as knowing God through Himself, He placed the ultimate reality — living forever– in the dimension of relationship, not the space-time continuum. Eternal life is the uneclipsed appraisal of Jesus as the most precious reality.”

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5 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution of 2012: Developing a Love of Reading

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