I love to read. I will read almost any genre of text. I have particularly been a lover of science fiction and mystery or spy fiction. I don’t know how I learned to enjoy books. In, The Pleasures of Children’s Literature, Nodelman and Reimer invite the reader to consider which strategies they use to enjoy literature and how they learned them. I am blessed or cursed with a memory for very little prior to the age of 12 and I am not sure if I know which strategies I was taught and when. I know that my mother read to us from early on and continued to read aloud to us until I was at least 12. I don’t know if she taught us strategies explicitly. I expect not but we talked about what she read.
I know I had some excellent English teachers in high school but I couldn’t tell you if they taught me any enjoyment strategies. I do remember the odd lesson on writing and I remember a great many of the books we read.I remember memorizing passage of Shakespeare, although I couldn’t tell you if that enhanced my enjoyment of the plays or not. I do like the bits which run through my head now as a result. “It is the east and Juliet is the sun.” “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” “To be or not to be that is the question, whether it is better to…”hmmm. Now I’d just Google it, if I really wanted to know.
I know that I visualize particularly effectively. I don’t remember anyone ever teaching me to do that. I do know that I can finish reading a book and some months later, I can not recall whether I saw it as a movie or in a book. The images are clear and vivid. I had considerable trouble in the first Harry Potter movie, when Ron and the twins looked wrong in comparison to the book. I got over it by the second movie but as accurate as the rest of the casting seemed those did not fit the images in my mind.
As a parent and teacher, I watch and teach my children with enthusiasm, the strategies I think will help, when I think they will be of assistance. My son is a new reader, although he has had a reading identity for some time. He uses all kinds of strategies. Mostly innately. I don’t recall teaching him to question the text or wonder aloud but he does it. I have taught him some cuing skills to deal with decoding but nothing deliberate about enjoyment.
I wonder about teaching pleasure. What can I teach to teach enjoyment of books? It is an interesting question. I’ll see what comes up.