As someone who teaches courses in editing and book culture, I am always looking for thoughtful writing about how readers interact with books. Adam Gidwitz’s essay “Books for Life” discusses how we may be identified by our favourite children’s books. He comes to an unexpected but striking conclusion:
When a child asks for the same book three hundred times, she is telling her parents what she needs to learn, what she needs to come to terms with.
It was almost a decade ago that I first read Mark Bracher’s powerful essay “Transference, Desire, and the Ethics of Literary Pedagogy.” At that time I was a fairly fresh post-secondary instructor, beginning my doctoral studies and feeling my way between literary theory and pedagogical theory. In this essay Bracher argues that “transference is ubiquitous in literature classes” (128). From my own experiences in the classroom, as both student and teacher, I cannot dispute Bracher’s assessment.