Friday, February 4, 2011

Fiesta Postponed - Read Instead

"A room without books is like a body without a soul."
— Marcus Tullius Cicero

You can still enter to win prizes for the Four Hundred Follower Fiesta until midnight EST. But I’m sorry to announce I can’t pick the winners today.


I had the best of intentions when I picked the date for my alliterative title way back when. Before I realized report cards would be due on 02/08. I’m feeling swamped.

Most unfiesta-like. So will announce the winners on FEBRUARY FOURTEENTH, which will keep my post title alliterative and will maybe send some love to followers on that special day.

Thank you to all who follow.

Thank you to all who comment.

Read this while you wait for the winners:

Most of us are teachers and writers, right? We’re all readers I assume.

This was posted in front of the 8th-grade ELA teacher’s classroom. It’s from Hornbook and is by Dean Schneider and Robin Smith.


(I’m going to add one to keep with my alliterative contest.)

1. Never read where your children can see you.

2. Put a TV or computer in every room. Don’t neglect the bedrooms and kitchen.

3. Correct your child every time she mispronounces a word.

4. Schedule activities everyday after school so your child will never be bored.

5. Once your child can read independently, throw out the picture books. They’re for babies.

6. Don’t play board games together. Too dull.

7. Give little rewards for reading. Stickers and plastic toys are nice. Money is even better.

8. Don’t expect your children to enjoy reading. Kids’ books are for teaching vocabulary, proper study habits, and good morals.

9. Buy only 40-watt bulbs for your lamps.

10. Under no circumstances read your child the same book over and over. She heard it once, she should remember it.

11. Never allow your child to listen to books on tape; that’s cheating.

12. Make sure your kids only read books that are “challenging.” Easy books are a complete waste of time. That goes double for comic books and Mad magazine.

13. Absolutely, positively no reading in bed.

14. Don’t buy or borrow books for your children, especially when they’re too young to appreciate them.

Would you add anything to this list?

Are you guilty of promoting any of these fourteen?

Happy reading!

Love, Theresa xo

P.S. It’s my mother-in-law’s birthday today.

Feel free to wish her a happy day in the comments.


  1. Happy Birthday Theresas Mother in law! Hope you have a great day! Does this mean I can have some cake?!

    I'm not guilty of these, yahoo! You just made my weekend! ..except the bulbs maybe...

  2. Happy Birthday to your Mom-in-law, Theresa!
    Happy weekend, too! :)

  3. Happy birthday to your MIL

    Hope you get through all the stress of getting report cards in okay.

    Loved your list! I don't do any of them. I have no kids so....

  4. Happy b-day to your mother-in-law! :)

    My grandmother adored books and that rubbed off on me and my sister. She kept her books immaculate and dusted at all times. I wish I could say the same about mine. :)

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your mum-in-law!! May her day be full of lovely yummy and gorgeous things and treats!!! Yay!!! :-)

    I can honestly say hand on heart that I am not guilty of any of these points!!! My future child/ren are safe!! LOL!! Take care

  6. Happy B-day to your mother-n-law. Loved that list. Perhaps that is why so many kids when they get to be teenagers they don't have a love for reading. I have one to add: Don't read to your child when they are young. I must say, I always read to my son, and to this day, he has a love for reading! He is 20 years old.
    Have a good weekend

  7. A happy birthday to your mother-in-law! I'm not sure how to word it but I never assumed a topic was too adult for my nieces and nephews. Curiosity is a good thing, right? :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  8. Sorry you're so swamped! And your "reading list" is so funny.

    And Happy Birthday to your MIL!

  9. Wishing you a smooth report card grading session.

    Wishing your mil a very happy birthday filled with all the little things that bring her joy.

    I am guilty of breaking all these rules. Whew! I was worried there.

  10. Happy Birthday to her!!!

    That being said, good luck with all the work you have!!! Take a breather, try and enjoy yourself and we'll patiently wait for the fun and the winners! We want it to be Fiesta like soon!

  11. Happy Birthday Theresas mammy-in-law, another aquarian, I have two birthdays next week, hubby and son.

    Great list, I am definitely a rule breaker, look forward to your Fiesta soon, homework must be done before fun, my only rule in my house.

  12. Happy birthday to her!
    That's a great list! When I worked with children and adults with learning disabilities # 3 was a huge problem we had with parents. We had a really specific way to correct any errors (lots of positivity), but when parents sat in on our sessions they would pounce on the kids with corrections. You could immediately see the light go out and they would just shut down for the rest of the sessions. So sad!

  13. I would add--put all books on bookshelves and never allow them to be strewn about the room.

    I learned early on to leave books everywhere--including the car and the bathroom!

  14. Remind them it's faster and easier to just watch the movie.

    And yes, report cards, yikes! (christy's done, I'm just starting)

  15. So glad my parents didn't follow these "rules!" My brother and I are both big readers because our parents set such good examples.

  16. GREAT list! I'm stealing this for the wall near my school computer.

    #15 - FREAK OUT if they bend, dirty, or accidentally rip pages. Books are meant to look pretty, not used.

  17. Happy Birthday to your mother-in-law!

    Great list.

    I'm a Crusader, too. :)

  18. Happy Birthday to your Mom-in-law, Theresa.

    Not guilty of anyone from the list. I've started sharing my romance novel with eighteen year old daughter!

  19. Happy birthday to your mother-in-law :)

    I haven't promoted those things (since I don't have kids and all), but I was a product of such raising. Fortunately, I recovered and now read... well, not constantly, but plenty. I wish I had been raised more with books, though, so I could read faster.

    The irony, though: My mother is a librarian...

    Stop by my blog on Monday for a special announcement :)

  20. @ Words A Day, you should definitely have some cake to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday.

    I don't know my bulb wattage either. It's probably Ikea's fault. Does it count if I have lots of lamps?

    I like your new profile picture.

    @ Len, thanks. Happy weekend to you too.

    @ Melissa, I brought home all the paperwork. Now I just need to get to work. ...Maybe tomorrow.

    @ LR, thanks. That's a sweet anecdote. You're supposed to dust books? I'll have to tell my daughter the next time she dusts the shelves.

    @ Old Kitty, my mother-in-law is on vacation out west, which is an excellent way to spend a birthday.

    I'm glad you're not guilty of not promoting reading! We won't mention the library book.

  21. Great list! I'd add: Never write in a book! Highlighting favorite passages or scribbling your impressions in the margins ruins a perfectly good book.

    Happy Birthday wishes to mom-in-law!

  22. Happy B day to your momma in law!
    And I can't waaaait for the results! :)
    I realized I actually didnt promote much of these 14 ways to raise a non reader, so, yay!!! :D

  23. Hi Theresa .. fortunately not having kids .. I have no opinion (unusual for me!) re kids and reading .. though I'm delighted when they do & remember the hours of pleasure I obtained from hunkering down with a good book, or gathering another cup of coffee and slinking back to bed for another morning read?!

    Happy Birthday to your mother-in-law who's quite special to you I think ...

    Cheers and hope you're having a good weekend .. Hilary

  24. I like that list and I think it's definitely accurate. I don't have kids so I can't speak from experience, but I think the fact that kids can watch music videos and tv shows on their little portable devices (you can watch TV on cell phones now, right? I dunno; I haven't updated my phone in years) makes it that much easier for them to avoid reading. They do seem to enjoy reading text messages, though. Maybe someone should write a novel written entirely in text messages. :) I did read a novel by Meg Cabot that was written entirely in e-mails.

  25. Last night, I replied to a bunch more of these comments and they disappeared! My Internet connection temporarily quit. I was demoralized, but now I'm back.

    @ Choices, thanks. Good addition to the list. I've seen too many students suffering academically because they didn't/don't have books in their homes.

    @ Julies. thank you. I agree. Sometimes books are a great way to introduce a more mature topic to children and teens.

    @ Lydia, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed the list.

    @ Ann, thank you. I'm glad you're a rule-breaker when it comes to this list!

    @ Jen, thanks for your patience. Fiesta coming soon!

    @ Brigid, thank you. Happy birthday to your husband and son!

    I also request homework be done first. Get it over with!

  26. @ Kelly, that's interesting to know. I haven't been happy when teachers have put my youngest in lower reading levels because of fluency. There's often too much emphasis on pronouncing each and every word right. And what's the difference if a word is replaced with a similar that doesn't effect the understanding of the story?

    @ Bossy Betty, good one to add to the list. I go through as many books as I do because I have them everywhere.

    @ Erica, good luck with your report cards!

    Yes, a movie is no replacement for a good book, is it?

    @ Meredith, I'm glad your parents didn't follow the rule too.

    @ Shannon, good addition to the list. That reminds me of the time my 2-year-old daughter took her borrowed picture book from the library and chomped through ALL of the pages. I had to tell the librarian and pay for the book. Sometimes I pop open the book to look fondly at my daughter's teeth marks.

  27. @ The Golden Eagle, thanks.

    I'm glad to hear you're a crusader too. I just wish I knew exactly what I was going to have to do.

    @ Nas, thanks. Sharing your romance novel with your daughter is cool.

    @ RosieC, thank you.

    I'm glad you read despite your parents (and a librarian on top of it!). The only one my parents did was the no reading in bed.

    I'll visit your blog.

    @ Nicole, good one for the list. I don't often do that in fiction, but I've done it plenty in my graduate school books.

    @ Clara, thank you. Glad to hear you don't promote non-reading!

    @ Hilary, thank you for the comment. The way you describe reading sounds lovely.

    You have a good weekend too.

    @ Neurotic Workaholic, there is a texting novel. I leafed through it but couldn't deal with reading it.

  28. Happy bday to mom-in-law!

    That list is perfect!!! I think I may just have to send that home in a newsletter :)

  29. Happy late birthday Mother in Law!!!

    I'd add: Use books as punishment. I know teachers who send children to Book Center when they've misbehaved. Books are a privilege, a joy. Don't create resentment!

    And I'm happy to say that I've broken every one of your rules :)

  30. @ Jemi, thank you. It would be great to put it in a newsletter.

    @ The Words Crafter, thanks for the comment. That reminds me, I knew a mother who made her child read as a punishment!

  31. Happy birthday, mum-in-law! Theresa, I hope you get some time to relax. I know what you mean about feeling swamped. I've been feeling that way lately, too.

  32. Happy birthday mother-in-law! Theresa, I'm sorry you're feeling swamped. Take it easy.

    Love your post on books. I hope I'm not guilty, but only 2 of my 4 children are avid readers like moi!

    Welcome to the crusade! I hear so many galloping horses!

    Take care


  33. @ Talli, thanks. Sorry you're swamped too. I'm looking forward to the winter break in 2 weeks! It feels close, yet so far.

    @ L'Aussie, thank you. How great you have 2 avid readers. You never know when the others may join.

    I can't wait to see what this crusade is all about.

  34. According to that quote on top, my house has plenty of soul! And that list is kind of the opposite of our household, thank goodness!

  35. @ Solvang, I'm glad you to hear your house has plenty of soul. Mine too!

  36. Hey Theresa, saw your comment over at VR's blog, and popped over here in case you didn't see my response.

    The Crusade isn't meant to be onerous, it's more a way for people to meet other bloggers who are also wanting to make those connections. Once I put up the List of Crusaders, it will pretty much be up to Crusaders how much effort they want to put toward supporting their fellow Crusaders (through comments, getting to know them, etc). Some Crusaders comment on every post their fellow Crusaders (in their Crusader Group) post, others just here and there. I'm acting more as a facilitator for people to meet, rather than telling everyone what to do. Though I'll be running Crusader Challenges (mini blogfests) here and there for people to take part in if they wish, as a way to get to know the other Crusaders better. I guess the aim is to build connections that will last even after the Crusade is ended. And we all had heaps of fun with the Challenges during the First Crusade :)

    Hope that makes sense, email me if any questions.



  37. Funny list! A happy birthday to your mother in law:) I'm a crusader, it's nice to meet you.

  38. @ Rachael, thanks for explaining. Certainly not onerous! Just didn't know what the writing assignments would be. Now I get it! I'm going to try to get to know other crusaders better later today.

    @ Amanda, thank you. Nice to meet you. Thanks for the comment!

  39. Hi, Theresa! I'm a fellow Crusader and a retired teacher who also has a BA and MA in, you guessed it, History! See you around the Crusade.

  40. @ Zan Marie, thanks for stopping by! Nice to meet another History teacher.

  41. I do correct my 3-year-old sometimes when she mispronounces things, but her vocabulary is pretty good and she will usually get the word right after I correct her, so I hope I'm not scaring her for life.

    I get bored reading books over and over again, but she loves it and it’s adorable to see her read along with me once she’s memorized the words.

  42. @ Lisa, I'm sure you're not scarring her for life! When my children mispronounce, I say it back to them like I'm just echoing what they said, but I pronouncing it the correct way. Usually they pick it up. If they don't, I correct them after a few mistakes.