Mr. Cheevers ELA The Act of Reading: For Self, School, Society and World

Reading is a self-investment that can pay dividends for you and others. Society depends upon citizens who are well read and well-informed.


There is no frigate like a book to take us to lands away.  Emily Dickinson

The things I want to know are in books  . . . Lincoln

A novel is a mirror walking along a main road. Stendahl

"Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor—all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked—who is good? Not that men are ignorant—what is truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men." W.E.B Du Bois


The people I quote above lived before the internet and the creation of electronic media which holds so many of us in thrall. One of the problems with electronic media and watching webcasts and movies designed for entertainment is that the reflection piece—your reflection and not the reflection of the deliverer— is often omitted. A book, on the other hand, is meant to be put down so that you can think about what you are reading and connect it to your life. The reader  can evaluate the issues and problems faced by the characters, be they actual or fictitious. The act of reading and reflection engages us and thus helps us be better prepared to face the future.


Reading a play like “A Raisin in the Sun” or a novel such as Animal Farm provides an opportunity to get know an earlier period in time and the challenges which emerged in those societies --whether in the form of discrimination on the South Side of Chicago and elsewhere, or the implicit question of Orwell’s novel: how do we establish a society that can provide the greatest opportunity for freedom and prosperity for all? The alert and concerned reader asks:  how are we doing today and what needs to be done?


The great thing about the act of reading is sharing. You can share books and poems that move you and you can ask others.about their favorite selections or what they may recommend for you..