“The Signal” – a reading ritual from younger days…

I am fortunate enough to have grown up in an environment where reading was encouraged and highly valued.  I was taught to read earlier than most of my schoolmates and – probably not coincidentally – usually tested out at a higher “reading level” than my classmates.  One family tradition I remember fondly (and this may not be peculiar to my family; I’ve never asked anyone else if they had similar rituals – until now ) is that, upon completing a book my dad would open the book up to roughly the middle (and this works better with hardcover books, naturally) then kind of “slam” it shut, making a satisfying “clap” of a noise.  As kids, of course, we ate this up (all kids like to make noise, I think), and fell for it hook, line and sinker as a dangling carrot at the end of a book we were reading.  Plus, the loud clap of a book slammed shut was a kind of public self declaration of achievement in our family (“I finished another one!”).  I particularly remember those little blue-covered “Hardy Boys mysteries” books made good fodder for this practice with their thick hard covers – AND their brevity.  I could knock off one of those in an afternoon in my young reading years…

 I’d be interested to hear if others are familiar with this – or had other – family rituals that encourage reading.

Advertisements