Tag Archives: reading

Reading in the Dark

The region-wide blackout last night brought back so many childhood memories!  I was one of those kids who complied easily at bedtime because I always had my pink Ever-Ready flashlight stashed under my pillow.   

So I didn’t let the power outage interfere with my daughter’s storytime and it was actually so fun that I think we’ll have do this again every once in a while!

I have to admit, I’ve never read by candlelight.  A few years ago my mom gave me these clever, rechargeable tealights that are constantly repositioned around my house.  I just love them.  They give off a flickery, orange glow that’s quite similar to real fire—a nice alternative when you want to go all Smokey the Bear /Don’t Play with Matches on your kid.  (Of course my daughter has seen me dangle satin ribbons in candle flames when I’m crafting, so I’m probably confusing her with my mixed messages).

The tealights do not offer good reading light, but Halloween is coming and they create a perfectly creepy effect, don’t you think?

And I do have a booklight which my husband gave me in hopes I’d use it instead of my bedside lamp when I’m reading at night.  But I don’t really like it.

Now, does reading in dim light really hurt your eyes? According to this article, not necessarily, though eye strain–as most avid readers already know–is hardly desirable.

Wherever and whenever you’re reading, be kind to your eyes!


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Filed under Family, Reading Activities

Teenagers needed—Please help!

I am currently taking a class on the history of young adult literature and I have an assignment to ask tweens and/or teens about their reading habits/preferences.  However, it is summer and I spend most all my time with the early elementary school crowd, so I do not have any teens readily available to interview.

Below is a link to a brief survey that I created.  It should not take longer than 10 minutes.  I would be so, so grateful to anyone aged 10-19 who would be willing to participate.  Adults, maybe you could coerce a teenager (or several) over whom you have undue influence to fill it out?  I will be summarizing the responses to be discussed among the students in my class only.  No identifying information from survey participants will be shared.  The deadline for participation is  Saturday, July 2 as my report is due the following day.  (No, I did not procrastinate spectacularly as per my usual style; the prof just dropped this assignment yesterday!)

Feel free to forward the link to anyone who would be willing to participate.  Thank you so much!


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Filed under YA Literature

How Reading Can Help Raise a Strong Woman

I was inspired by this post to write a bit about how my blog fits in to the one cause to which I am deeply committed:  the education of young women.

My blog doesn’t look like much now (and hardly anyone is looking anyway).  But I have a clear vision for this project.  Someday it will be a resource for parents and educators who are seeking resources and reading material for the young women in their lives, and hopefully even a resource for those young women themselves.  Just give me time.  Eventually I’ll write amazing posts about Greg Mortenson, Shannon Hale, and Katniss Everdeen.  I’ll write about strong heroines and where to find them.  In the meantime, here’s some of the work I’ve done so far.

Parents with daughters even younger than mine (4 yrs) need to be thinking right now and every day about the woman they are raising.  What kind of character do I want her to have?  What skills will she need in the world she’ll live in?  By my words and actions, what messages am I sending about womanhood?

Reading can help.  Reading books, articles, blogs.  Reading aloud.  Reading, and then talking about what you read.  And just so you know:  throughout my life, I’ve been surrounded by strong women, all of them readers.

Here’s a quick booklist of titles I recommend for parents with daughters.  Thorough reviews someday, but if you’ve read them before I post, we could have a better discussion 😉

Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman
Totally Wired by Anastasia Goodstien
The Primal Teen by Barbara Strauch
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (a book I also recommend for tweens)

This is the article mentioned in Mitali’s blog about the pressures facing today’s teen girls, and this one discusses the advantages of single-sex education.

Educating young women does not just involve parents and teachers.  Being both means I am not a great many things.  Please share your ideas and resources.


Filed under Booklists, Reflections

Reading Diaries

“I never travel without my diary.  One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” ~ Oscar Wilde

As I pondered how to being this blog, I felt motivated to read the first entry from each of my diaries. (I’ve written in a journal since I first learned how to write.  Thus far I’ve filled 26, and kept track of all but one.)  Memories refreshed themselves and I found myself alternately smiling and cringing.  When I’d finished reading, my thought was, how would I feel if someone else were to peruse these pages?

My journal writing was how I learned to speak my mind and be comfortable with honesty and vulnerability.  In its early volumes, my journal was the one place in which I revealed all the secrets I carefully guarded from my parents and friends.  Secrets like angry or selfish thoughts, crushes, jealousies, silly personal triumphs, fears, and goals.  As a teenager I would have been mortified if someone had read my diary.  Nowadays, my journal is a place for thinking aloud privately (occasionally I do think aloud publicly, usually with humorous or embarrassing results).  I would not be mortified if someone were to pick up my current volume, but I would be uneasy and I can’t pinpoint why.  Perhaps because I’ve never been inclined to read a diary that was not my own?

What about you?  Would you read someone else’s diary–with or without permission?  Would you let someone to read yours?


Filed under Reflections