I’ve been feasting on books, crunching books in my teeth, swallowing books practically whole.  I’ve been devouring them like giant, delicious mystery cookies, unable to stop putting them in my mouth until every – single – gorgeous – crumb – is – gone.  As I do this, I realize I’ve been starving.  Story-starved.  I’ve been writing, writing, writing without reading, and that’s unsustainable.  You can’t keep burning stored energy forever.  You gotta EAT.

Reading is such joy.  Every other form of total self indulgence I enjoy (ice cream, television, shopping) is tainted by guilt.  But not reading.  No, reading is completely safe – because I MUST read.  I must read to model reading for my son.  I must read to model reading for my students.  I must read to stay current, to stay relevant, to make sense of, to prepare for, to know.  

I also must read in order to write. A reading tear is fuel for a writing tear.  Life is where stories come from, but reading is where writing comes from – and if the reading is lifelike enough, then stories can come from them, too.

As I gorge myself on books, I read delicious little snippets to my students.  I want my kids to be hungry, like I am.  I want them to NEED BOOKS.  So I’ve been giving them juicy little story sliders – literary hors d’oeuvres to whet their appetites and send them running for the kitchen. 

It’s working.  The last two books I shared snippets from – The False Prince and The Name of the Star – are suddenly so in demand at the school library that I ended up donating my copies to the librarian today to stave off total mayhem.

And now, instead of concluding this post, I’m going to crack another book, peel back the first page, and shove the whole thing in my mouth.


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