Reading and writing: a beginning, and no end in sight!

Reading on the floor

Just wanted to quickly share two blog posts, which by happy accident I happened to read almost back to back today.

The first is from Odds ‘N Ends (aka Mary’s Little Blog), in which a mother recounts helping her son learn to read and write. More importantly, the post focuses on the first time her son read a story on his own — a tremendous achievement and a memorable milestone in any reader’s and writer’s life! (My big moment arrived, appropriately enough, on the toilet, when, at age four, I read the top of a carton of laundry soap my mother had stored in the bathroom. It’s been my favorite reading room ever since.) Check out Mary’s son’s story at “Mom, I know LOTS of words.”

The other post is from Bill and Dave’s Cocktail Hour, where writer Bill Roorbach, after spinal fusion neck surgery, is learning new — and healthier! — ways to read and write for a living. You can read the epic saga of his surgery ordeal starting with his posts on “Occupational Hazards,” but the post I read today, “Ergonomics,” is all about his path toward better reading and writing habits. Ergonomic chairs, proper sitting postures, speech-recognition software … the whole toolkit. There’s nothing overtly heroic about the post, but the quiet subtlety (typical of Bill) in his penultimate line — “My job is all reading and writing, and I’m going to have to find new ways to do it” — belies Bill’s determination to keep reading and writing no matter what, not just because it’s his job but because it’s who he is.

It’s who I am, too. And if you’re a regular reader of this blog, my guess is it’s who you are, too. This is who we all are. We read and we write, some of us for a living but all of us for life.

Published by Samuel Snoek-Brown

I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.

4 thoughts on “Reading and writing: a beginning, and no end in sight!

  1. Just a note to let you know of a book blog I’ve started with a different twist: “Writing Kurt Vonnegut.” Every Saturday, I post another excerpt from my notebook as Vonnegut’s biographer— profiles of the people I met, the difficulties encountered, and the surprises, such as finding 1,500 letters he thought he had lost forever. It’s a blog written in episodes about being a literary detective.

    “Writing Kurt Vonnegut” is only three weeks old but has already been linked to from GalleyCat, 3 Quarks Daily, the Book Bench, the Rumpus, Identity Theory, Maud Newton, and Litopia.

    Perhaps you’d like to give it a look at

    All the best,

    Charles J. Shields
    And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life (Holt, November 2011)

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