Darth Harley Learns To Read

Darth Harley was sitting under a beautiful, lush tree taking in the warm afternoon sun and enjoying a Harry Potter audiobook. His master Darth Bowser saw what he was doing and, visually upset, approached Harley.

B: What are you doing?

H: I’m reading. I was going to learn to do it with my eyes, but read-aloud is easier, whether someone reading aloud to me in person or on audiobook. I tried reading with my eyes, but that’s hard. Actually, I don’t know any kids who read with their eyes anymore except for texting and facebook and stuff.

B: I see you have no marginalia for what you are reading. You’re just sitting there absorbing the book like a spunge.

H: What’s “marginalia?”

B: That’s when people used to read and make notes on the page of the ideas that were coming to them about the book, like what the story reminded them of, or how what they were reading connected to something many pages earlier.

H: Oh, I don’t do those things. With audiobooks you have to focus on letting the story unfold, so there is no time for relating or reflecting.

B: Audio books can be good for training you imagination to picture what you are reading, but there is much more to it. For instance, do you understand a book better the first time you read it, or the fourth time?

H: The fourth of course.

B: Why is that?

H: I guess because reading a book isn’t just like someone taking a walk and describing what they see, but also the different parts of the book are connected and so on a fourth reading you really see how the end is already an acorn in the beginning that is about to grow into an oak tree.

B: And non-fiction?

H: It’s the same in that later ideas are connected to earlier ones so connecting through reading in this way helps you see, not only the trees, but also the forest.

B: So I guess you want to trade in your audiobook for the real thing now?

H: No, not yet. This is a peaceful easy day suited for peaceful easy reading. I’m happy to just let my imagination create a world for me today. I’ll save the heavy lifting for another day!


When you read this article below, what do you thing are some of the most important points it makes about literacy?

Accepting the reality of a less literate age