Closet Identity: Reader (May Theme)

by Naomi Kinsman

When I saw this theme––summer reading––come across my desk, my mind went blank. Summer reading? As in reading kids do? As in reading teachers do? As in the reading I do... wait. Do I read?

Ah, the essential question. And yes, of course, I do read, but ever since I threw myself into becoming a writer, reading has changed for me. I read manuscripts for friends and students and clients, all with my writing craft hat firmly attached. I read books for book clubs I facilitate and others in which I network with fellow writers. In these cases, I know my well-considered thoughts are still required. I read nonfiction on writing craft and fiction chosen to inform the skills I'm working to gain.

When I read those words––summer reading––an image flashed to mind of my younger self, two braids swinging, as I lugged a bag full of books back to the library to report my progress to my favorite librarian. Even as I reported my reading progress, ideas bounced around my head of what I'd read next. That girl, she knew who she was as a reader.

Me? I'm not so sure who I am as a reader. Or maybe it's just that I don't want to admit to myself who I am as a reader right now. Maybe I don't like this practical, task-oriented reader I seem to have become. I don't want to lose the joy of stumbling upon a book, opening it, and then not being able to put it down. This summer, I want to rediscover who I am as a reader.

What does that mean?

I think it means visiting the library. Picking up books just because. Trying out new kinds of books. Exploring. As I'm typing this, my energy is lifting. My heart is expanding. Yep. Feels like it is time. I'm excited! I think I'll start with... a new mystery series.

If you want to explore who you are as a reader this summer too, you might enjoy this blog post I saw a few weeks back, about tech tools a class of sixth graders used this year as they explored their identities as readers.

photo credit: aafromaa via photopin cc


  1. I appreciate your post, Naomi. Yes to visiting the library and browsing for new books! And thanks for the Nerdy link - I missed that one! What great reading tools!

  2. Thanks, Tamera! Happy reading to you.

  3. I think it's every bit as important to play and explore as a reader as it is to play and explore as a writer!

  4. I am right there with you on this, Naomi. I long for long days of 'just because reading'. It seems like every book in my pile(s) is for 'purposeful' reading. But then, maybe our reading represents the ebb and flow of our personal evolution...Hhhhmmm...wonder if there's a book about that....


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