Whether you’re 5, 15, 35, 55 or beyond, D.E.A.R. Drop Everything and Read. (Yes, another acronym – the key to salvaging my memory) I love to read, yet find other ‘things’ get in the way of my personal reading.
April is D.E.A.R. month. I did it when I was a teacher. I’m doing it this month too.
The DROP website celebrates Beverly Cleary’s books to motivate kids. All we have to do as adults is pick up one of the books we’ve accumulated that are lying on the kitchen/bedside/dining room table. You know the ones you’ve been meaning to read. Sponsored by Harper Collins and Walden Media to name a few, this program has been in existence since Beverly Cleary first mentioned D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and schools picked it up. When we did it in my school in West Caldwell, New Jersey, the kids loved it. We had D.E.A.R. time in the classroom. I challenged my second graders to have their parents join them at home at night.
Why let the kids have all the fun? D.E.A.R. Promise yourself 20 minutes and watch it morph into 40 or more.
Once I committed to the idea of doing a D.E.A.R. for myself,  I first thought I’d lay out a curriculum for the month. This was my usual teacher planning method. Old habits die hard. But then I let it go and decided I’d see what happened as long as I read every day–for myself.
From Ramona Quimby to When Breath Becomes Air
I had When Breath Becomes Air on my Kindle for a few days. Started it Friday evening and kept eyeing the Kindle each afternoon to claim time to read it. A moving, informative, beautifully written book of Paul Kalinithi’s internal and external struggle with cancer.  The emotional shock of his cancer diagnosis is lined up parallel to the medical knowledge and past experiences he had in treating cancer patients. And then his experience of being the patient. It’s more than narrative. His own questioning of life and death firmly invited me to look at my own.
What will be next?  D.E.A.R.                                   
Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships