Read and Be

Something struck me last year about the way our family reads books. This only came to light when I was reading Kwame Alexander's "The Crossover." I borrowed the book from my local library on Maui after hearing great reviews. 

Very little catch-up housework was done that weekend. Swept along the dramas of life on and off the basketball court, the story grabbed me by the heart and refused to let go. I consumed the words like a starved maniac. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. It was a roller coaster ride of emotions and I was fully committed. I sped through the book like my life depended on it. 

Breathless, I passed the book on to my husband.

In his slow, considered way my husband started reading the book showing little emotion. "Which part are you at?" I'd ask intermittently, desperate to relive a moment of the story. When he'd described the passage, I would have to think really hard. Hmmm. I don't remember reading that. Maybe I had skipped a page? Slowly, a vague memory would emerge. Stripped of its details, only the bare bones showing, I no longer felt the intensity of that part of the story. I had to ask for the book to be passed back for a moment. Oh yes! There's the part in its entirety. I never doubted Alexander's brilliance. It was more like my speed reading was not serving me well. While my husband was reading he was able to take breaks. Long breaks. Over night breaks. After he had finished reading it, much to my annoyance, he could recall small details and episodes.

Calmly, he passed the book on to our son.

Aged ten and not a basketball player, our son instinctively read the book out loud in rap style. He danced it, he clicked his tongue to it, he "was it." 

This was the moment I realized we all have our own way of reading books. 

My way - a little too fast maybe, but fun, open to the ride. My husband - cool, deliberate, attentive. My son - embracing every moment and tuning into the rhythm intuitively. These diverse reading styles somehow reflect how and who we are in the world.

Thank you Kwame Alexander for an amazing book! Our own copy sits on our bookshelf.

Thank you to my family for being exactly who you are!