I love coming to the library. Books appeal to me like chocolate, soothing! I am in New York at a teen nationals competition with my children and have found some quiet time to write. I directly went to the library, a quiet and welcoming place. Sitting down here at the computer, I notice a new book next to it, a title I have not read. Wow! It’s awesome. I’ll be blogging on it in the near future. It’s called Sneezeby Alexandra Siy and Dennis Kunkel.
The library can become a good friend to you. On my journey of “learning” books, the library is my source. I challenge you to go to the children’s section in the library and look for some books. Our local library has a special section for the new books. I usually look there first. Then, find a spot to savor the book. Meaning, read the book to enjoy. Then, begin to look at the text with a writerly eye. What words do you notice? What did you like about the text? And then, why did you like that specific part – was it the words, craft, font, humor, emotion? Carry sticky notes so that you can tab the pages. I love getting small ones to note the specific writing you like. Many times I cannot name what I like. I just like the way the words have been used. I usually write those in my notebook (with quotes and author’s name) to remember the sound. After a while of savoring the words, a craft will come to me – or I’ll name it my own unique trait. What matters is that I notice the technique. Do the same. You’ll begin to notice more and more craft by doing this practice. Which by the way, this practice is “savoring a book”, just like a life savor’s flavor lingers in your mouth.
Katie Wood Ray explains more in her book, Wondrous Words.
Now, since I cannot buy all the books that I savor, I will copy the cover with a sticky note on the front, listing the craft/skills that will help my teaching. I also note where to find the book. This step is very important! Eventually, I hope to purchase the book, but at least I have a written memory of the book. I then place the copy in a file that has a craft that I have named so that I can find it again.
Try it and let me know how it goes.