Reading Feeds My Writing

In this National Year of Reading in Australia, I find myself constantly marvelling at the impact of books on my life. As a life long learner, books provide the necessary spark for progressively chipping away at my ignorance. All across Australia, celebrations of our literate lives are taking place. A warming well spring of activities is occurring in towns and cities the breadth of Australia in 2012 and it serves to remind us of the significant contribution reading makes to our lives.
I love it when I see heads bowed in pursuit of understanding as readers of all ages lose themselves in a book. I love the privacy of reading and the public sharing that often follows. I love the notion of books as travelling companions and guides. I love that a book can make me ambitious. A book has the capacity to be transformative. A book can help me escape and take me to new worlds and offer new ideas, propositions and understandings. A book can challenge my current beliefs and prejudices.

I draw much comfort from knowing books are inseparable from my view of myself as a writer. I have lost count of the times I have told students and teachers, ‘You can’t be a writer unless you’re a reader,’

Our lives as literate beings should be shared daily with the students with whom we work. Our reading and writing lives should be joyfully on display. There is no more powerful model for children than to be in the company of an adult who sees themselves as a proudly literate person.

And so the books in my personal library continue to grow in number. They continue to inform me. They nourish my thirst for knowledge, and they help me remain credible as an educator. My passion for reading and writing hopefully shines through in the work I do. Everyday, I bring with me all the reading I have ever done. It is the prior knowledge I tap into when linking reading and writing. I frequently remind students and teachers that they too bring this rich treasure with them when they enter their shared learning space. I am grateful to my parents and teachers who all those years ago laid the foundations for the reading life I continue to celebrate. It is what guided me towards writing. For that, I will remain eternally grateful.


  1. Since posting this yesterday, I came across a Donald Murray quote on Twitter that appears apt in the circumstances. 'Readers can read without writing, but writers can't write without reading.'


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