When I don’t want to read it … I don’t

I saw a word today that filled me with dread at the sight of it …

… “Caldecott.”

For the uninitiated, the Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children “to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children,” but why would that, of all things, send a tiny chill up my spine?

The answer is in my (perhaps mildly fuzzy) memories of childhood, when as an elementary school student we were assigned with reading all the books that had received the Caldecott Medal and perhaps doing some kind of report on them.

Again … the fuzziness of 35-year-old memories.

It’s not that I didn’t like reading. I loved reading.

It’s not that I was bad at reading. I actually was tested and found to read years above my grade level.

But it was a monumental task to get me to read those books. It may have even required some teacher and parental involvement.

I just didn’t want to read them.

The easy explanation is that when I was younger, all I wanted to read was sports books. It wasn’t until adulthood that I broke that habit. (I’m currently reading “The Rise of Andrew Jackson,” by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, which drew my interest after we visited The Hermitage a couple years ago.)

But as I thought about it a little more today, I realized that I’ve never liked being told what books to read, ever.

I read tons of articles and studies and chapters of textbooks during my school days, but reading books has always been a leisure activity, something I do for fun.

And that has always meant reading what I want, not what someone else tells me to, whether it’s picture books or Hemingway.

Sorry, Ernest … I thought “The Old Man and The Sea” was tedious.

I have no idea if that very happy-looking child is reading a Caldecott book, but the picture is from mohamed_hassan on Pixabay.


2 thoughts on “When I don’t want to read it … I don’t

  1. withcurlsandcocktailsblog

    I firmly believe if you make people read things they don’t want to then they won’t enjoy reading. If I start something and don’t like it then I won’t bother.


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