For The Love of Reading

So lately I’ve been seeing a lot of negative posts about styling books a certain way. Apparently stacking your books like this is a huge no-no today. Photos with books stacked pages facing out have been attacked with hateful comments. I’ve read things like “You can tell all of these are bargain books.”, “You can tell this person doesn’t read any of these books.”, or “This organization gives me anxiety!” Honestly, I am incredulous. What these people are really saying is “You don’t organize your books like me so you don’t enjoy reading as much as me.” It feels so silly to be even comparing things like that! Now this post isn’t coming from a viewpoint of hate. I just want to shed light on how I see these comments.

First off, what’s wrong with bargain books? I have found some amazing finds at thrift stores. Also, when you start to say unkind things about people’s photos, it affects the person behind the photo. I hear adults say “Kids these days don’t know how to communicate. They’re always hiding behind a computer.” Most of the people attacking these photos are adults. Don’t you realize there are humans behind these photos? I have struggled with anxiety for the past few years and let me tell you, while posting photos and sharing my love of books has been an amazing joy, it’s also been a huge source of anxiety. What if one of these photos of my books styled this way is reposted? What if people start saying rude things to me?

Let me give you a little background. I’m a teacher, who absolutely LOVES books! I spend hundreds of dollars on books every year for my students and find joy in seeing kids grow to love reading. I obviously don’t have my classroom books with the pages facing out because  they’re just learning how to read. However, I do teach my students to make books their own, to observe different perspectives by reading books, and to read what they enjoy! I also teach my students to be kind to one another, refrain from saying unkind things, and accept each other for who they are.

I guess all I’m really trying to say is, there’s enough hate going around in the world. Recognize someone is behind that photo you are belittling. Let’s remember that books teach us to see from different perspectives, not to be stuck in our own. Lastly, kindness starts with you.

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