A book recently came across my desk. After I harrumphed about the title, erroneously assuming it was silly, I spent some time with it and found myself not only engaged but amused and intrigued.
It’s 101 Ways to Read a Book (Red Comet Press) by Timothee de Fombelle, illustrated by Benjamin Chaud (translated by Karin Snelson and Angus Yuen-Killick).
Who would have thought that there were so many ways to read a book? Illustrations not only depict every reader from the Sunflower (seeking light) to the Sleepwalker (so engaged that he’s heading for an open manhole) to both the Skeptic and Sentimental.
I saw myself in many of them: as the Classic (sitting in a regular chair), the Drifter (snoozing happily with book in lap), the Night Owl, and even the Octopus (the one who doesn’t need to choose).
I wonder where you might see yourself or the kids in your life.
These “carefully curated collection of observations” documented in humorously sly illustrations also reminded me of why adults and children read. For pleasure. For a vicarious experience — to be scared without the danger, to feel loss without losing anything, to root for someone that you only know through the pages of a book. For information. And for so much more.
But the one thing that comes across successfully in this book is the joy of reading and the pleasure in books.
As a new school year begins, I hope that all of you — including your children and returning students — can celebrate books and reading.
And I hope that you can add new ways to read a book!