Saturday, August 15, 2009

Books as Bridges

Portland, 2008: Picture taken by my husband on his trip last year
Why this picture? Because it is my favorite city and the home of my favorite bookstore!

In my previous post, I mentioned how my cousin and I have grown apart over the years. We used to be fairly close, but have gone our separate roads in many ways. However, there has always been one constant between the two of us . . . books and reading!! Both of us are HUGE bookworms and we love to share our favorites with each other.

Throughout my need to find one of our childhood favorites (see Remember a Moon Made Out of Cheese?), I have discovered that books can truly be a bridge . . . a connection . . . something that can help many of us relate despite our differences. In this instance, it has helped my cousin and I to stay connected and always have a reliable topic to talk about. However, I have also experienced through my lifetime that it can be a positive way to connect in so many other ways. Here are just a few examples . . .
  1. Working within an elementary school as an intern, I often used picture books as a form of bibliotherapy. Examples include Simon's Hook by Karen Gedig Burnett, How to Lose All Your Friends by Nancy Carlson, Enemy Pie by Derek Munson and Tara Calahan King, among many others. (Friendship issues were a common topic!)
  2. Working at the post-secondary level, I had the opportunity to teach elective courses for fun called Dinner and a Book OR Book and Discussion. I was able to connect with students on a more personal level as well as cover a wide area of majors/areas of interests with such books as Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling.
  3. In past job interviews when the topic of books comes up, I am immediately put at ease. It establishes a connection with the possible future employer and can sometimes be very revealing regarding your choice of books to discuss!
  4. I have moved around a lot lately due to my husband pursuing a second career. It is always hard to move to a new place where you do not know anyone. Meeting new friends is tough and I always find myself using books as a launch into starting conversations.
  5. FINALLY, books have brought me to the book blogging world! This has been so good for me, providing me a constant where there are few sometimes in my world of change!!
Books have been my connections to friendships, jobs, and students in my career field. They have created bridges to many things in my life. I'm curious . . . What bridges have you built with books?


  1. I do agree books can build a bridge in many different scenarios...and it is always good party talk. It is easy to say "what are you reading?" in order to meet someone.
    As an elementary librarian I build bridges between what students or teachers are looking for and what I can help them find.

  2. What a great post! You're so right -- books help us build bridges with so many people and are such a great way to connect. For instance, our mutual love of books brought me to your blog!

    We're interview partners for BBAW... I look forward to speaking with you! :)

  3. Peaceful Reader . . . It definitely helps to break the ice during what can be uncomfortable party talk!! :)

    Megan . . . I'm so excited to partner with you on this!! Can't wait to check out your blog too!!

    Just to expand a little bit, I've started a new thing at work myself. I have started my wall of recommendations! Students have begun sending me recommendations or they come up in our chats. I write down every recommendation on a sticky note and add it to my wall. I'm so very excited about this and can't wait to see how many recs I get by the end of the semester!! :)

  4. Another thing I love about books is that they build bridges between cultures. Kids who have no way of travelling to Africa say, can read a picture book and gain an understanding of how other childrens' lives are alike or different to their own. I believe literature is a top way to increase tolerance in our society.

  5. The Book Chook . . . I love the way that you have phrased this!!!! You definitely speak the truth here . . . and you said it so eloquently!! I think I'm going to mention it in my Synopsis post today!! :)


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