Books, fish, whatever

My treasure for the day, which will wander through my head instead of lyrics from Beauty and the Beast:

We shouldn’t teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.
B.F. Skinner

That makes me smile.  If I require the reading of great books during my children’s tender years, at best, they’ll graduate with the knowledge of a few great books.  If I can set on fire a love of reading…then I’ve opened for them the library of the world.  It’s the educational equivalent of, “give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach him to fish, feed him for his life.” 

Logically thinking, this fallacy may be a false dilemma.  Is it not possible to achieve both?  What I walk away from this quote with is that I need to choose which goal is most important, most meaningful, most lovely.  Which will I pursue most enthusiastically, trusting that the other will follow naturally?

I don’t care if my children are reading “great books” or books they think are great.  If they keep reading, they’ll find great books.  They’re learning to fish.


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