Book #44: Turn the Page

I read Turn the Page: How to Read Like a Top Leader by Chris Brady a year ago and tried to apply some of the principles taught in it.  I found them useful in my reading journey, so I decided to ask the book group of homeschooled teens that I mentor to read it with me.  I thought we’d have an interesting discussion of the concepts in it, but mostly the kids got hung up on whether or not you should write in your books.

I never owned a book growing up.  My parents didn’t believe in buying books.  Money was tight and with an excellent library system, why spend money on something you may regret buying?  However, most of my siblings and I are big buyers of books.  I’ve swung from whatever I can get my hands on to being more particular about our home library, but I’ve always maintained the philosophy that you never, ever write in a book.  I didn’t mind dog-earing pages, but my husband believed that all books should be treated with reverence.  We went back and forth on this for years.  I believed that care should be taken, but that wear and tear was inevitable and a sign that books (or toys or clothes) were being used.  But we stood united on using bookmarks and not writing in books.

I remember the first time I had an itch to write in a book.  I couldn’t commit to a pen so I used a pencil to underline my favorite lines in Little Men.  I felt like I was breaking the law.  I didn’t write any comments, just underlined parts I liked.  It unleashed a floodgate and after that, I had no problem using a pen, highlighter, writing up and down margins, filling up the extra pages in the back with notes, and dog-earing pages.  And why not?  I bought those books for my own use.  Who was I hurting?  My kids who came along behind me didn’t complain and in fact, they added their own markings and comments.  It has been fun to come back to those books later and find their arguments with my comments, or insights I didn’t pick up on.

The best part of reading this book was coming back to it for my book group and seeing that my second daughter had argued with the author, just like the author says you should.  It was very meta and funny.

Goodreads rating: 4 stars, but mostly because the term “leader” felt overused.  He wasn’t talking about heads of state or companies, but the leader of your own life and choices.  It was an easy read and that seems like a small thing to nitpick, but it did knock it down by a star for me.


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