The Streak: A Father, a Daughter, and Shared Texts

Harry Potter is mentioned once in this NYTimes article about a father and daughter whose relationship until she left for college was defined by reading together every day for at least ten minutes. But their story is only a little about Harry and a lot about the bonds people who read aloud to one another share in the activity of their imaginations, Coleridge’s “poetic faith,” which is very close to if not continuous with the inner heart.

I’m thinking of starting a ‘Streak’ tonight with my youngest boy or my wife. I hope you will consider starting one with someone you love, too.


  1. revgeorge says

    A nice, heartwarming story. Of course, one shouldn’t make it proscriptive for others.

  2. I got a little teary-eyed. My mom used to read “the Anne books” to us when my sisters and I were little, but that ended a long time ago. I will try this if I’m blessed with children; and if not, maybe my husband will oblige me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. What a cool story. I’ve never thought about doing something on such an on-going basis. When I was teaching our school did one year of DEAR (from the American Library Assoc) – Drop Everything and Read. The idea was to have someone, at random, signal that it was time to stop whatever was going on and everyone should read. This wasn’t a time for a teacher to read aloud, but for each person, whether student, teacher, office workers or janitors, to pick up a book or even a magazine.

    I remember when we started, some of my 2nd graders who weren’t great readers struggled to even look at a book or magazine for 10 minutes. It wasn’t long till the time would sometimes stretch to 20 minutes, by request from the students. I thought it was great. We only did it as a school for that one year. I would have happily done it every year.

    Like the father and daughter in the article, I think it’s crucial to everyone’s education to foster a love of reading.

    Laura and I would have had the best shot at doing something like this as we used to read the same books and enjoyed reading aloud to each other. But she’s 28 and out of the house. So too late for that.

  4. Isn’t anyone else a little disturbed by the idea of John streaking with other members of his family?

  5. Back to the Hog’s Head — and to the goat, Travis. He misses you…

  6. revgeorge says

    See, that’s what I thought too, but I decided against posting the lyrics of the Ray Stevens’ song. ๐Ÿ™‚ “Don’t look, Ethel!!”

  7. Dallas Carter says

    Very cool! Much for me to work on though . . . Such a task for me to even consistently read myself!

    Travis – – Careful. Or John make take his ‘streaking’ directly to the Hog’s Head ๐Ÿ™‚

    Question – – Can anyone tell me how to add a picture icon when I post? Im fairly tech literate BUT I cant figure it out! Thanks in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. My daughter, Hannah, wrote to me from VMI about this father and daughter and their edifying reading streak:

    What a wonderful story! The end where they were reading in the stairwell on her first day of college literally brought tears to my eyes. Not sure if it was the picture of them sitting there after so many times reading together or the idea that it was finally time to stop.

    I had to write a short paper on how I ‘got into’ literature at the beginning of the semester about why I think it’s so important for young people to be exposed to and excited about reading good books. I was very enthusiastic and the teacher commented “You feel very strongly about this don’t you?”

    She also said that I had a wonderful introduction to books and reading as a child. Which I know, and really think is a big part of who I am, not only just from watching you and Mom (being read to by you both and that you read to yourselves) but moving all those books every time we moved. The impression I took away from that was that smart people always had books, and not just as shelf ornaments.

    Thanks for the article, it gave me the warm fuzzies, thinking about being read to by you and Mom years ago, and then choked me up when the time was over and she grew up, and then triumphant at the end when she enjoyed all the success from such a simple exercise and habit. The same feelings you get from reading a good book.

  9. I enjoyed this article very much. It is very important to me that my children pick up a love for books. I was worried about my son because of all the gloom and doom predictions about boys in elementary and reading. I am happy to report that in fifth grade he is an avid reader. I tell him all the time that a love of reading is a key to open the locks in this world. People with good reading comprehension skills do tend to do well. My daughter seems to be a fairly avid reader in the second grade and she is influenced by watching her older brother’s love of reading.

    I think I might try a streak over the summer with my kids. My son has moved on to mostly reading by himself as he is a visual kid, but I did read him The Hunger Games (and its sequel) a couple of months ago. I was concerned with him reading it by himself and when he wanted to read it decided that I would read it to him so I could gauge his reactions and talk about some of the difficult topics in it. That ended up being a really positive experience.

    Thanks for the inspiration! I loved the idea of a goal and pancake breakfast reward, and with summer coming up I am plotting and planning….

  10. Maggie May says

    This looks like a good place to plug my latest find, “The Book Whisperer” by Texas 6th grade teacher Donalyn Miller, who requires her 6th grade public school students to read 50 books! Her secret? She helps them find just the right books for their individual interests and no more boring whole-classroom reads (which have turned reading into a least-preferred activity for many). Each child works individually and conferences with her several times a week. She uses every available minute in the classroom for silent reading and her kids’ test scores are great. She has to maintain a classroom library of immense numbers to accomplish this. You’ll love it!

  11. Schools work when they try to do what good families have done for centuries.

    Or wasn’t that the point?

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