Tonight’s activities and blog post were inspired by my friend Sara, a teacher at Joplin High School. In recognition of National Library Week, she encouraged her friends to open the book they are currently reading to the fourth chapter, and share the 12th sentence.
I was intrigued! After I shared the appropriate sentence from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on Sara’s Facebook page, I looked up info about National Library Week and discovered today is Drop Everything And Read day. I considered that a personal invitation, and dropped everything else I had planned this evening and curled up in my recliner with a cup of hot thyme tea and four books.
Drop Everything And Read, or DEAR, is celebrated each year on April 12 in honor of beloved children’s author, Beverly Cleary, who is 101 years old today. This award winning author published her first book in 1950.
Among her best known characters are Henry Huggins and his dog, Ribsy, Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Ralph S Mouse. My children enjoyed these books as youngsters. And I was especially fond of the irrepressible and fearless Ramona.
To celebrate Beverly Cleary on this remarkable birthday, I read this evening. Loving Sara’s idea, rather than write a brief synopsis of each of my current books, I opened them to chapter four, and found the 12th sentence.
Here they are:
From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by JK Rowling –
From 20 Things to Do in Dublin Before You Go for a Feckin’ Pint by Colin Murphy & Donal O’Dea –
From An Italian Journey by James Ernest Shaw –
And from Making Life Easy by Christiane Northrup, MD –
I read more than the one sentence…I read at least a chapter in each book as I sipped on my herbal tea. I thoroughly enjoyed this impromptu activity. But you know what? I struggled just a bit with it first.
The Drop Everything And Read part gave me pause because I had other activities planned. And that is the whole point of this celebration, to stop doing chores or watching tv or playing on the phone…and read, for the simple pleasure of reading. Once I gave myself permission to literally drop everything, I was able to embrace this unexpected treat and savor it, just as I did the tea.
So thank you Sara, and happy birthday Beverly Cleary. I am grateful for the invitation to relax and read and have fun. Perhaps I could celebrate Drop Everything And Read once a week!
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