Books Make Me

#sol21- July 27, 2021

Last week as part of the fabulous Book Love summer book club Penny Kittle talked to Kwame Alexander and the stars aligned so that I was able to “be there” on Facebook Live. I could listen to them all night long, but we only had about half an hour. One idea he left us with is community poems. He has done this for NPR, where he gives a starting line and people send in their responses and he puts them together into a poem. Our starting line, via Ann Marie Stevens and Kwame Alexander was “Books make me…” so that is what I am writing from today.

Books Make Me

Books make me a better person,

Opening windows to new ideas,

Challenging me,

Yes, sometimes also comforting me, as I find the familiar.

Books make me a better teacher,

As they coteach with me every day,

The class library reflecting opportunities, dreams, challenges, and more,

Transforming readers one page at a time.

Books make me discerning- there is never enough time to read a meh book when so many great books are on deck,

They connect me- to authors, illustrators, other readers,

They take me far beyond their pages.

Books make me spend more money,

How hard it is to not buy all the books,

I wait (impatiently) for each order to arrive,

I know it is almost always money well spent.

Books make me who I am today and inspire me to outgrow myself!

Thanks to Kwame, Ann Marie, Penny, and Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop (who first talked about books being windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors)

6 thoughts on “Books Make Me

  1. Thanks for your poem. I have been reading all your slices, they confirm the part of your poem that shares the amount of books you buy and read. I really admire the passion you have for reading student books too. I have been following and aim to be that kind of a a reader for my students.

  2. Love your ideas but this stanza was one that I had not even considered:

    Books make me spend more money,

    How hard it is to not buy all the books,

    I wait (impatiently) for each order to arrive,

    I know it is almost always money well spent.

    It was so great to hear Penny and Kwame!

  3. What a wonderful response to a great prompt. You are a book person through and through, your passion and appreciation for books sing loudly. “Books inspire me to outgrow myself” is powerful.

  4. Erika, what a great prompt. I have added “Books Make Me” to my short list of poems I want to write next. Thanks for the inspiration. You have really shared your joy and the meaning of books through your poem. Like Terje, one of the lines that grabs me most is the last:

    “Books make me who I am today and inspire me to outgrow myself!”

    I love that who you are today is ever open to more changing as you read, always ready to outgrow yourself with new truth. Beautiful way to put it.

  5. Erika, this is such a favorite poem. I laughed out loud at “Books make me spend money.” Yes! I have piled of books all over my house. I can’t wait for Amazon to come with my books.

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