A professor of mine, Bradford Keeney, offers the following advice:
EVERY TIME YOU READ <insert your book here>, INTERACT WITH THE BOOK IN A WAY THAT YOU HAVE NEVER INTERACTED WITH A BOOK:
*drill a hole through it
*drill other holes
*underline spaces rather than words
*talk to the book
*place book under pillow or bed or tv or stereo speaker
*place book on serving plate and place on dining table
*play catch with the book
*add wheels to the book
*create a more aesthetic cover for the book
*cover author’s name with your name… after all in a constructivist universe, the reader is an active participant in the interaction called “reading”
*add your name to the author’s book, making it a collaborative writing/reading
*glue a mirror to the front of the book
*feed your book a snack before reading (so it wll have the energy for you to read it)
*heal the book with your hands
*run a string through the hole and floss it before reading
*run a string through the rope and …
*place book on top of your head and ask it to come down to the level of your heart before reading
*move where you are sitting after reading each page so that your reading moves you around a circle
*perform a naming ceremony. the book needs a name (not a title). Give it a name that gives you the possibility for a more personal relationship with the book.
*Create a family history for the book
*write alternative chapter titles in colored ink under each black and white chapter
*change male pronouns to a nonsense word like “zerp”
*write a fictitious author biography on the inside of the front cover
*write a fictitious reader biography on the inside of the back cover
*make a little shoe box room for your book to sleep in at night. Call it the book’s private quarters.
*call someone and tell them your book has something to say to them
*place your book in the funniest spot in your home
*after your book has resided on a funny spot, carry it to a serious place and have it stare at the seriousness that needs loosening
*attach a light to your book. place it under your bed for one night with the light on. Consider where you will arrange for it to shine
*purchase or make a mask for the book to wear
*write a letter to the tree that gave its life for the book
*write a paragraph about whatever comes to mind and then randomly place it in the book as a surprising special edition
*take your book to a library so it may visit other friends. Introduce the book to other books it may not know
*plan to mail the book to yourself at the end of this course. consider this a vacation for the book.
*encourage the book to have an out of body experience.
*sing any sentence in the book
*tell a joke to the friend, but when you get to the punchline, pull out a sentence form the book previously written down and read it. Explain that this was homework.
*send out a press release describing the hole in your book and what is happening to it in a San Francisco doctoral program. try to make some news
*Tell Oprah about any of this activity and explain why it provides the only hope left for changing the world
*Send video of these operations to Stephen Colbert
*When you finish reading the book, have a “The End” party.