An Aversion to Reading in Disliking Books by Gerald Graff

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Disliking Books By Gerald Graff is about the authors own aversions, starting as a young boy, who grew up simply disliking reading books, for both academic and leisure purposes. Growing up in his neighborhood, it was highly disregarded for a boy to enjoy reading; they were looked at as “sissies” and had the potential to have been beaten up. He maintained this ideology all the way into his college career, where ironically, he majored in English. Although by this point he replaced his fear of being beaten up with the fear of failing his college courses, he was able to squeak by with doing his homework at the mare minimum. He felt as though he wasn’t able to quite relate, much less, enjoy the text. It wasn’t until his junior year he was finally able to find the spark he had been lacking all these years. It was over the controversial ending of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Some of the critics believe the story really ended when the boys basically stole Jim away and other believed it was actually when they learned that Jim had already been freed. Finally realizing that “reading and intellectual discussion might actually have something to do with my real life, I became less embarrassed about using the intellectual formulas” (Graff, Para 12). He then turned to more and more literary works to understand further of what reading critically can help you appreciate, even turning his lesson into his future profession as an English Professor.
Throughout Gerald Graff’s own personal struggle with reading books, he learned that reading critically while also engaging in critical and intellectual discussion could open a whole new world of personal connections he was never able to make before.
Growing up in his neighborhood he adopted to idea...

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...to do with his own personal life.
Throughout the next few years, following his first real experience of critical reading and discussion, he came to catch what he calls, “The literary bug” (His own interpretation of understanding the art of critical discussion and reading). Graff eventually chose the profession of teaching. He believed that everyone has the same chance to learn how to unlock the secret world of critical responses and reading. Graff wanted to instill the same process in his students that he once lacked. Many of the students he teaches seemed to have grown up as the same sort of “nonintellectual, non-bookish person I was” (Graff Para. 17), the same type of people who had a fear of books and dread of reading. His main goal as a teacher was to able to share the way he learned to open his mind to literature to the same kind of students that he once was.

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