Read Like a Wedding Crasher!

800px-Charles_Sprague_Pearce_-_Reading_by_the_ShoreLooking for some great summer reads? School Library Connection’s own Paige Jaeger challenges you to look beyond those light-hearted, easy-to-read, beachside paperbacks and instead try a little “reading up.” Tweet us @SLC_online with a picture of your own challenging book for the beach this summer with the hashtag #ReadUpChallenge.

There’s this (unofficial) librarian law that says, “When a movie is released, you are not allowed to see it until after you read the book.”

We’ve all been there. So, last winter when the movie In the Heart of the Sea was released, I resolved to read the book before seeing the movie and I also decided to re-read Melville’s Moby Dick. They were my “beach reads” for a winter vacation. There was also an element of wanting to go back and remedy the error-of-my-ways as I recollect taking the short cut for Moby Dick in high school.

Both books were a challenge for me. Although I did not find them difficult, it was predictable to have to look up a word on every-other page in Melville’s book—and I like to think I have a large vocabulary. Some of the sea-faring tier-three vocabulary was new to me, and cultural references of the 1800s I had to ponder. At times I felt “out of my element.”

Catching up on professional journal reading, I came across a brilliantly written piece by Tom Newkirk, espousing that we should “read like wedding crashers.” When crashing a wedding, we are out of our element—where we are not comfortable or intended to be: “It’s an act of impersonation, of seeming to know things you don’t. It’s knowing just enough to get by, to pass.” Continue reading “Read Like a Wedding Crasher!”