I have recently been exploring the idea of textual lineage in my grad school class. This is something I had never heard of before but it makes a lot of sense. Books are such an important part of our lives. For many of us books help us learn about ourselves and life lessons. With each book that we tend to read we take something away that we can use in our lives. After reading up on it, I took to thinking about the books that had an impact on my life and helped shaped me. The books that had the biggest impact on who I am, were picture books and young adult novels. At first this seemed odd to me since I have read many different genre and types of books but the ones that have stuck with me the longest are the ones I grew up with.
These are the books that helped me learn ‘life lessons’ of being kind, sharing, being a friend. Also about how to treat others and how much an ugly comment can hurt someone and stay with them forever. Some taught me about staying true to who are and what you believe in, to make a difference. These are all qualities that people in the stories I read had and I walked away with a new understanding and how to grow into it.
There are so many times I have read a book and never realized what I walked away with. When I thinking of my personal Textual Lineage (book print) I had a hard time at first thinking of what books had an impact on my life. I was a struggling reading so reading never appealed to me and to this day I love reading but it takes me so long to complete a book. Some stories I have read and been able to relate my own life to them and see the impact while others challenge me. Both of these types of books have made it into my textual lineage. Personally for me my textual lineage has a couple picture books in it, since these are the stories that were read to me as a child to help me become a reader. They have a left just as much an impact if not more on my life as books that I read as an adult.
You can see my textual lineage here and how these books impacted my life.
What I have learned about textual lineage is how much of an impact a book can have on your life. Every book that we read leaves us with something new- an idea, value, or life lesson. This is something that happens organically and I never realized it before. When you think about the books that you read they always tend to stick with you.
So I have decided to explore textual lineage with other people. I have asked my coworkers for their and some of my students. You can see their responses here.