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The Gift of Reading

I spent my Sunday morning reading the print version of The News Herald and then I went online to read the Detroit Free Press.  The feature story this morning is in regards to expanding the Gift of Reading Program started back in May within the City of Detroit.  What a great way to start off my Sunday (glad I did not start by reading the sports section on the Spartans.)  This sounds like a wonderful program.  The Free Press is trying to expand on their reading tutor program by collecting 25,000 books (for every preK - 3rd grader in the Detroit Public School System).   I really think it is sad to think about how some children have no books at home, none, zero!!  Of course books are a normal gift and reward in my household.  We have a basket in our great room filled with books.  Not to mention this shelf overflowing upstairs with more choices.
 (Side note, when I slid into the room to snap this picture with my iPhone, my daughter was sitting in a chair reading the Cat in the Hat to her "classroom," this brought a huge smile to my face).
Each year near the holidays we go through the books and pick some titles out for donation.

Last year we started a similar book drive program at Carlson High School (on a much smaller scale of course).  Along with my responsibilities as a Teacher/Librarian I am also the Student Council advisor at Carlson High School.  One of the local charity drives we take on as a council is a literacy campaign.  We collect new books and provide each incoming Kindergartner with a new book after they take their Kindergarten Round Up Test (the test to determine if they are ready for kindergarten).  I realize, sadly, that for some of these children this may be their first book.  It is a pretty grueling test when you are just 4 or 5 years old, so it has to feel pretty good to walk away with a brand new book when finished.  We provided books to nearly 300 incoming students last Spring!
We have started collecting new books for the 2011 test period which takes place in late April or early May of 2011.  Our goal is to collect 350 new books.  If you are interested in donating, feel free to contact me at Carlson High School, 734-379-7123 or email me at
We would appreciate any help or assistance, with 100% of new books and donations going to incoming Gibraltar School District Kindergartners.  Happy Halloween!!!


  1. I described our conversation to my friend who works in publishing. She said that, if any kind of book will be totally replaced by e-readers, it'll probably be mass-market paperbacks. Janet Evanovitch and Clive Cussler and romance novels, you know the type. Those books are cheap and disposable anyway. Many people give them to friends, donate them to the library, or just toss them after finishing.

    She said that, though lots of companies have tried to get universities into e-textbooks, students just aren't biting. They want to be able to write notes in the margins, highlight, flip back and forth to check citations, etc. I'd have hated e-textbooks in college, and it would've been impossible in graduate school, where we didn't read textbooks so much as scholarly critical and theoretical essays and articles. When it comes to nonfiction, reference books, and literary novels - that is, more intellectual fare - those are things most people want in hard copy. It's easier for people to fully engage with the material when it's on paper than when it's words on a Kindle screen.

    Of course, most book sales are brain candy. Romance accounts for fully one fifth of all book sales, and genre fiction in general far and away earns publishing houses more money than, say, philosophy, essay collections, and literary novels. My friend predicts that, when e-readers are just as common as mp3 players, most genre fiction (which really is to say, most books) will be read electronically. But for books that require a bit more work and engagement from the reader, paper will always be what people prefer.


  2. Wow Meg, Thanks for your input. I hope you had an enjoyable trip! I hope your friend is correct about academic text. I always found myself marking up my college texts. I even jot notes in some novels that I read.

    My main "beef" with the Kindle was the lack of "pages." The status bar would be of little help when using an academic text.

    I was going to write about how some college campuses are forcing students to use e-Texts. However, I found the article last week, and have since found something else to write about. I will be curious to see how this works!

  3. I had a great trip, thanks! Have you ever spent Halloween in New York? The Village is like a crazy Nightmare Before Christmas-style Halloween Town. And people go all-out with their costumes. It's not to be missed. I got to see my favorite monologist too in this insanely tiny theater, only about 30 people, which was really special. And I went to a teeny tiny secret bar with one of my best friends, which was amazing. I could've stayed there all night. Now I wish every bar I visited had a No Standing policy, because it makes such a difference on patrons' quality of life.


  4. Sounds like you had a great time. I'm jealous, it has been too long since I have been back to NYC. It is one of my favorite places to visit. I could only imagine what it is like for Halloween.


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