What a great word! The Japanese coined this to explain the phenomenon that readers don’t always read all the books they own. Another author named this the ‘antilibrary,’ which doesn’t sound like such a good thing. The New York Times had an article about this concept not too long ago and it popped up on my personal FB feed tonight. Before I launch into a week-long discussion about the Big Five of Literacy, I thought this article would be worthwhile.
While I’m an admitted bookworm, I haven’t read everything in my home library yet. I like the word ‘yet’ there. I may eventually get through all of them. According to the author of the NYT article, as well as the author of the book the article cited, most people read about 10% oh their personal libraries. I’m WAY above that average, much closer to the 80 or 90% range– depending on the season. Enough about me and my reading, let’s talk about what this article’s wisdom might have for a struggling learner.
Do readers have to read everything? Do we have to finish every book we begin? Do readers really have to dissect every last story, analyzing each one to the nth degree? As someone who loves literature and teaches composition classes, there is definite merit to doing these things. However, I caution both parents and teachers that to do these things to every single book is to kill what reading should be! I’m not naive enough to believe that all schoolwork will be pleasurable, but the converse is also true–it shouldn’t all be drudgery either!
Here’s the article I mentioned above: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/books/review/personal-libraries.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur
When I get back on my computer, I’ll embed this link the same way as the rest of them.