Category: Reading

Literacy Rocks

Reading has transformed our mornings and evenings. The two eldest children have graduated to chapter books, and are utterly drawn to the written word. Apple-Apple and Albus both read in bed, and it’s meant we can tuck them in earlier, while letting them stay up a bit later. And in the morning, Albus gets up early and snuggles in a blanket on the kitchen floor … with a book. (I should add that the kitchen floor is heated, and it’s his favourite place to read). The difference between an hour spent devouring a book, and an hour spent sedated before the television is quite remarkable. Television, while temporarily diverting, inevitably leads to “TV Brain,” as we call it: you know what I mean–that irritable, bored, restless state of mind and being. The kids raise their eyes from a book wanting to talk and share and describe.
That said, Fooey does watch television most every day, because I rely on that “quiet time.” But both Albus and Apple-Apple seem bored by it, and it is never be their first choice for an activity.

Scoops Aren’t My Forte

Here’s something I’ve never done before: blogged while watching an event live on my computer. I’m sitting here in our disastrously toy-littered living-room, kids in bed, Kevin at hockey, watching the 2008 Giller Awards unfold live online, computer perched on the piano bench. The Giller is just about as exciting as a literary event gets anywhere–in Canada, certainly nothing comes close to topping it. Though in my younger, more Communist days, I held a smallish disdain for the wine-and-dine-them-with gala-glamour of the Giller; the medicinal, humbler, early morning non-dramatic announcement of the Governor General’s Awards seemed somehow better. Or better-for-you. I had a Pilgrim’s Progress streak back then.

Well, all proletariat disdain is gone. What a wonderful, generous gift to the Canadian literary world: of course these hard-working, creative, utterly underpaid people should get one evening to shine and dine and wine. Who cares if it’s illusory. And never mind that the nature of all prizes is to eliminate a whole passel of potential worthies; though that’s sad. Let’s just say that those chosen are the most fortunate of the fortunate and leave it at that.

Okay, if I type the winner’s name, then press “publish post” will I scoop the Canadian Press?? Heh.

Joseph Boyden.

There we go. He’s telling his mother not to cry, but of course she is. Wish I could remember the name of his book … Through Black Spruce, maybe? I read his first, very fine book, Three Day Road, and this one features some of the same characters. I think. I’m not proving very useful in the fact-checking department, which is ironic, because once upon a time that was how I earned a living. Fact checker.

And, no, I did not press “publish,” but instead watched the speech. So much for this bit of reportage. Were filing a coherent piece on tight deadline my actual job, I would not have an actual job.

Back to the living-room. Bedtime. Will take to the comfort of my humidifier-enhanced sleeping chamber last year’s Giller prize winner: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay. And enjoy. Or maybe not. Did I just dare to write in my very last post, mere hours ago, that baby CJ is sleeping well these days? I knew that was tempting fate. Sigh. He’s howling upstairs, after being put down less than an hour ago. Here I go, off to said chamber, not to read after all …

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