Required Reading – The Bloggers in the Attic

The Bloggers in the Attic is a discussion chain created by Camilla @ Reader in the Attic. She has set up a group of bloggers who post about a topic every other month. This way throughout the whole month there will be different unique views in each topic!

If you want to take part let Cam know by commenting under her origin post that you are interested!

I am the last stop in this tour! It’s been a great experience seeing everyone’s lives with required reading. I have been out of high school education for quite some time so I’ll share a memory I had of high school reading and an idea for required reading for adults!

Memory

I have quite a negative memory with required reading, not because of the books but lack of. Our English class would have a reading challenge were you had to read books and write about them in different formats. My English teacher would only let me do Bronze (ten books in the year) as I wasn’t the best at essays.

Even when I talked about how many books I read each week. I wasn’t allowed to take any of the classics from the room as they were for people who wrote better.

I rebelled in the most book nerd fashion. I took Macbeth and read it in a night, I took Oliver Twist the next week and devoured it. Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, I snuck them all out and back in. Yes, yes I am a badass!

This experience could leave a person thinking they aren’t smart enough to read classics. That they will not understand the concepts in them.

I hope English teachers these days foster a love for reading no matter if you can write in fantastic prose. Not every book lover wants to write, sometimes we just want to be immersed in another world.

The Dream

My dream is that in schools or adulthood that there is a system almost like required reading. Were no one is judged to be not well-written enough to enjoy a classic or a genre not judged in a low light because it’s not deemed literary fiction.

I propose a reading program in which each month there is a keyword. The reader then gets to choose a book based on the keyword, examples being:

  • LGBT+
  • Immigration
  • WW2
  • Other Worlds
  • Culture unknown to you

So the books can be used as a portal to learn about other cultures and diversity. Fostering open-mindedness and showing us other peoples experiences both positive and difficult. Then we talk about it and learn from each other.

A fantasy can talk about a difficult topic that removes us enough that we realise that what is happening in the world. Historical fiction can teach us about difficult topics in the past and how they shouldn’t be repeated. Every genre can teach you something.

That is pretty much my dream plan for required reading!

If you have any experiences with required reading let me know! The blog schedule is below, you should totally check out all the other amazing bloggers!

Blog Schedule

2nd – Camilla @Reader in the Attic
4th – Kal @Reader Voracious
6th – Lara @Naija Book Bae
8th – Isabelle @Bookwyrm Bites
10th – Sam @Fictionally Sam
12th – Dany @Ambivert Words
14th – Ben @Ben’s Reads
16th – Kerys @The Everlasting Library
18th – Clo @Book Dragons 24/7
20th – Lauren @Northern Plunder
22nd – Nora @Papertea and Bookflower
24th – Lili @Lili Star Reads

4 thoughts on “Required Reading – The Bloggers in the Attic

  1. christine @ lady gets lit says:

    Reading all of these posts has been so eye-opening! As someone who aspires to teach literature in high schools, I’m kind of appalled that you were basically kept from reading certain books for any reason! Just because someone “isn’t a good writer” shouldn’t mean they don’t read Pride & Prejudice. In fact, in my opinion, reading great works of literature is one of the best and easiest ways to get better at writing! Also, practicing writing, and having someone read your stuff and give you comments. All of which your teacher could’ve done for you. I mean, I know I don’t really know you, but I’m almost enraged on your behalf!

    I also 100% agree with your thoughts on how to make required reading better. In fact, it’s one of my goals when I (finally) become a teacher: to make a “book bingo” style assigned reading, where as long as the book as certain representation it counts. Reading has the potential to really open up people’s eyes to experiences and cultures that are different from their own, and that’s absolutely a transformative experience.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Like

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