Booking Through Thursday (BTT) – Manual Labor

BTT

Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?

Once upon a time, in high school and college, I had some MLA writing guides and other similar such things that were required for class. I definitely managed to leave them all somewhere and not bring them on with me, because I have them no longer. As far as English dictionaries, www.m-w.com (Merriam Webster online) is all that I need. What other dictionary has fun word games you can play?

My bookshelves are not totally devoid of manuals and how-tos, however. I believe that Brian and I have, between the two of us, three English-foreign language dictionaries for three different languages (French, Spanish, and German…no, neither of us actually speaks Spanish). We also have, if I’m not mistaken, workbooks for learning both French and German. In addition, I have a couple of books from my teaching days about teaching kids to write, plus a whole bunch about teaching literacy. Do those count?

5 comments to Booking Through Thursday (BTT) – Manual Labor

  • Do you still work teaching literacy? That’s a pretty awesome thing to do. I’m hoping that when my daughters reach school age that I’ll have the time to work on that volunteering at their school.

  • Well, I taught 2nd grade for two years. Unfortunately I’m not doing anything now, but I kept most of my professional books for when I have kids. I think that when I get pregnant I’m going to probably read all the books again and create a plan 😉 (even if that is waaay too early). There is an opportunity center in my city for low-income persons, and I would really, really like to volunteer there either teaching literacy to younger kids or, what I’d REALLY love to do, start a book circle with great YA literature for like middle school kids, to help them gain a love of reading. Unfortunately, that will all probably have to wait until after the wedding.

  • Do you plan on teaching again at some point? I can’t imagine that a library or school wouldn’t jump at the chance of having you create a book circle. In middle school, what books would you have them read? I think I was in the 5th grade when I read Little Women. That was when reading became very exciting for me. My kids are 5 and 3 and I can’t wait to share those books with them. We’ve tried reading James and the Giant Peach, but they just aren’t ready for it yet. My youngest would rather read to herself, anyway. Her stories are much more interesting to her than any book. :)

  • If I were to teach again I would probably have to move up to high school and teach history. I taught highy disadvantaged 7 year olds and I always tried to speak to them totally rationally, like adults. It was probably great for them, because most of them didn’t get that at home, but it was un-endingly frustrating for me.

    If I were to start a middle school book circle for this community center, I would probably have them read really engaging, but not too difficult youth books like The Giver or Maniac Magee, maybe Holes – stuff I still enjoy reading even as an adult. I find that most low-income students are in that position because their parents weren’t given the opportunity of much/good education, which makes it a greater challenge for them to prepare their kids for school, so many of them are behind. The nice thing about books like those mentioned above is that they aren’t too long (so not intimidating), not too hard (so not off-putting), and really engaging. Most of the kids who go to this center are first or second generation, too, so it would be great to find some good Y.A. literature dealing with immigration. My goal would be less to help them learn how to read (although certainly we’d talk through some strategies) than to show them the amazing world of books, and help them grow to love to read.

  • […] May 8, 2008 at 10:27 am (Books, LIfe, Reading) (Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, Booking Through Thursday, Eats Shoots and Leaves, how-to manuals, Lynne Truss, technical writing) I’ve been seeing these a lot lately, so I’ve decided to join some of my favorite book blogging buddies. […]