There is a certain truth in the notion that in order to enjoy a novel one has to have a sense of imagination. An imagination which turns the descriptions, conversations, and events into a new reality inside the reader’s head.
There is also a certain truth in the fact that television can reduce this sense of exploration of ideas while computer games reduce it still further until there is little imagination left.
At the same time texting reduces language to snippets to a degree that can make a work of fiction look like a visitor from another planet to some students.
One way to break through this barrage of anti-bookisity (apart from inventing new words like “bookisity”) is to ask students to open a book at random and find a few lines that intrigue them.
It makes an ideal game towards the end of term. They might come up with a famous quote to do with the best and worst of times, or they could find something seemingly mundane such as “Wait for the common sense of the morning*.”
And then the discussion: Is the morning a better time to consider problems? Is there such a thing as common sense?
From here the students can be taken anywhere in their reading, and the point is made that literature is a source of ideas in individual sentences as well as in the whole story.
Consider Wilkie Collins statement that we “see with nobody’s eyes, we hear with nobody’s ears, we feel with nobody’s hearts, but our own.” One never quite knows where these explorations lead.
This adventure can be continued into the holidays if the students each have a classic novel to borrow from the school or department library. “Choose one book, find ten quotes you want to share,” is the project for the summer.
To help in this venture, Wordsworth Editions has a very wide range of books from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from William Blake to DH Lawrence, Wilkie Collins to Robert Louis Stevenson.
If you want to see our selection of 50 essential texts taken from our full range of 400 titles, please do click here.
We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before. To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.
What’s more, if you order anything from us now, we’ll get the books to you well before the end of term. We look forward to hearing from you.
*Taken from “The Time Machine” by HG Wells – one of the many books on our list.