Friday, August 30, 2013

Reading Journey

'Reading Journey'

Since my youngest brother was in the 4th grade we kept a reading routine going. It was based on the incentive that with every ten or so books he finished reading, we'd shop around for a new video game or other gift of his choosing.  The activity was inspired from the Pizza Hut Book It program I experienced in elementary school.  With every few books I finished reading, my teacher would give me a certificate plus a coupon for a free personal pan pizza.  Our family didn't eat Pizza Hut too often so I remember really looking forward to that small pizza hoping I could have it all to myself.  

A lot of my reading activity as a child I gotta credit to my mother and father.  Over the summer, we'd frequent the Mickelson Library at Fort Bliss.  My parents would sign me up for the summer reading program which included a gift bag for reading a certain number of books before we went back to school.  Usually the gift bag consisted of some children's books, kites, some other small toys, candy, etc.   I can still recall discovering Walter Dean Myers's books at the Mickelson like Fallen Angels, and one of my favorite books at the time, The Contender by Robert Lipsyte.  Fort Bliss is a great place for children growing up.  When my father would get deployed to the middle east, I remember spending a lot of time with my mother going around Fort Bliss to swim at the Replica, play basketball and shoot pool at the Youthplex, shop for groceries at the Commissary, and shift through basketball trading cards at the Post Exchange.  It was also the site of one of my most favorite basketball camps growing up that was hosted by Don Haskins and facilitated by Rus Bradburd for children of military families, some of us who's father's had been deployed overseas.

My mother and father were real genuine about making my time in the library not only a priority, but something that we looked forward and that was fun.   Today, both of my brothers are a lot older, and though I still keep a reading routine going for work and study, the responsibilities of life, work, family, etc. has kinda slowed us all down when it comes to reading & writing for fun.  A part of this blog is going to try to re-encourage this activity.  It'll be a place where we document readings we're exchanging, searching for, or discovering as brothers, and will sort of act as a reference point, a reminder, and a place to learn and build that interest again.  Maybe some of what we post will be of interest to others or maybe we'll discover other blogs that will be of interest to us.  But its all intended for the fun of learning and to bring some meaningful purpose to how our time online connects with the enjoyment of reading off the page and from the placement of our bookmarks.

This blog will also link to topics on sports, health, food, films, life, video games, and other websites, videos, and audios for folks to check out since we're interested in everything... this is also a reference point for our younger siblings who are coming up and who I'm hoping will have the chance we had as youth to connect with reading, visit and spend time in libraries, and establish a routine to exercise their minds to sustain healthy thinking, communication, and putting their imaginations to work.

In regards to age, me & my baby brothers are all separated by 8 years, I'm the oldest, and we share a common number, 44... it is the jersey number one of our brothers wore throughout his high school  basketball years.  Whenever we get the chance to get out on a court, its the number we all wear to represent for RBros44.  Plus our brother that wore 44 is our favorite ball player on earth. 

Below, I've included an image of the last book my youngest brother read.  As I mentioned above, his reading routine involved him keeping a journal in which he tracked well over a hundred books over the course of six years.  We'll be revisiting some of those readings & writings on this blog.  The book below, Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George, was a book my youngest brother found at his school in a book fair.  He had this book for a long while and decided to read it since we got kinda busy and didn't get the chance to get back on a reading schedule.  Since a part of my work time is spent online, I decided to transition the journal he kept on paper to this blog and give him a chance to understand other purposes of social media as opposed to a lot of the waste sites that take up time or drown out things that are meaningful to us as family.

As we didn't get the chance to do a full review of Julie of the Wolves, I simply asked my brother what he enjoyed most of about the text.  He said he liked the journey and that it was a story about communication and understanding.  

Welcome to the RBros blogspot.

Til' the next book.

-Big Bro' Lee (BBLee)