Making time to read what’s offered unsolicited…

I know it is hard enough to make a dent in the stacks of books and periodicals in your own mental queue. Add to that the book or two you are reading for school, work, or your book club and the one you’re reading more for self-improvement than pleasure. You also have at least a few periodical subscriptions piling up and you really ought to read more poetry, don’t you think?

I’m with you.

Today, though, I made an exception. A colleague of mine waltzed into my classroom carrying a two foot pile of fresh copies for his students. When I realized that the reason the whole pile nearly tipped over onto my floor was that he had printed something else–something extra–for me.

I had plenty more pressing duties today, but somehow, in between this and that, I managed to read the four NY Times articles this friend had offered unsolicited. He did not say why he printed them for me. I suppose because I am an English teacher and they were all about sentences, fiction, and books.

I read them all and enjoyed them all for their thought-provoking ideas and found among them four of five lines to use in class or just to underline and write a heart next to (what I do when I really like a sentence).

Here are the articles this history teacher who totally didn’t have the time to think of what I might read and enjoy but did anyway passed on to me:

“The Sentence As A Miniature Narrative” by Constance Hale

“My Life’s Sentences” by Jhumpa Lahiri

“Your Brain On Fiction” by Annie Murphy Paul

“The Way We Read Now” by Dwight Garner


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