Love of Reading...and Writing

Saturday, July 09, 2011
How do you explain your passion for reading and/or writing? Is yours a public or private passion?
I ask because getting my kids reading is a no-brainer for me. I want them to grow into life-long readers, as much as I want them to become healthy and productive members of the community.
I just spent a week with my family at a reunion and I noticed that my parents and siblings were never far from a book. I want to make sure that my kids know that reaching for a book can often be as easy as a library card. I think they will get that lesson through me, but it was nice reinforcement to see where I had learned it from, as well.
To me, my parents' love of reading has translated into a love of writing and reading on my part. I'm not sure when I knew I wanted to write, exactly, but I remember when I worked in a law firm during college and noticed how seriously some of the lawyers chose their words. I've tried to carry that throughout my life and being careful in my choice of words. (Not always successful, but I've tried!)
But if you have a writing or reading passion, it's important to note that you don't always need an audience, either. You don't need to blog or publish books or join a book discussion group. While you may want to share a good book with a friend, you don't have to. You can keep it to yourself, just as you might have a passion for journaling and a wish not to share with those around you. Your reading and writing can still be a passion.
But I love to talk to my kids about their books. Sharing a book or a story or something I've written helps make reading seem more alive and less solitary, to me. While I do enjoy quiet time reading, I'm also someone who likes to discuss reading and writing.

So, what about it? Is your writing or reading a public passion for you? If so, how do you make it so? And who do you enjoy sharing your writing or reading with most of all?

Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and editor who loves visiting the library and sharing her writing and reading.


Sioux Roslawski said...


Reading and writing are both public and private passions. Privately, I don't let anyone know exactly how much time I spend reading (when I should be sweeping the dog hair up instead), I don't share how there is a book in the bathroom that stays there, and I keep quiet about how if I have a book with me and get caught up at the train tracks in my neighborhood, I turn off the engine and enjoy a few minutes of reading. But publicly, I belong to a "book club" and enjoy--once a month or so--gettting together with some rowdy, bawdy friends and talking about the book and the issues that spring forward. I also get jazzed about books with my students (3rd graders)and encourage their enthusiasm as well.

I will talk about books to anyone who will listen (can't you tell from this will-it-ever-end answer?) but I have a best friend who is also a work colleague; she is the one who I usually share books with, and she returns the favor.

Writing? Privately, I sweat and scratch out and revise, often late at night or at-the-crack-of-chicken early. Publicly, I belong to a critique group. AND I regularly share my writing with my students, and freely and (sadly, often) admit to them when my writing is "crappy." (I don't say "crappy." I just make a horrified face and shake my head and call it "junk.")

Thankfully, both of my kids (31 and 23) are voracious readers. Don't give up, Elizabeth.

Jolene said...

For me, reading is a public passion and writing is a private passion. All of my friends and family know I love to read. I love to share with my friends when I've read an awesome book. The first time I read Pride & Prejudice I talked about it for months! Some of my family and friends know I like to write. Very few of them have been allowed to read my writing. (I do alot of journaling which doesn't get shared with anyone.)

Kristi's Book Nook said...

Great post. My reading is very public. I encourage my kids to pick up a book at all times.

hkhagan said...

I’m learning to be more public with my blog writing but until recently my love of reading and writing have been very private. Only a couple of very trusted people knew about my writing. I still try to keep that part of my life separate and compartmentalized from by current professional career.

Sarah Tokeley said...

Everybody knows I love reading. Not many people know that I write.

The greatest thing now is when my 14 year old daughters and I share recommendations and then discuss the books afterwards.

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