The Big Read Blog (Archive)


April 6 , 2009
Kelleys Island, OH

Through April 12 Matthew Modine is starring as Atticus Finch in Hartford Stage Company?s production of To Kill a Mockingbird, part of Hartford Public Library?s spring Big Read. Modine took a break from Atticus to share his personal response to ?Why read??

Matthew Modine as Atticus Finch in white suit sitting in a rocking chair deep in thought

Matthew Modine in a quiet moment as Atticus Finch in Hartford Stage?s To Kill a Mockingbird. Photo © T. Charles Erickson

"After the age of eleven I was no longer able to keep up with other students my age.

"It was during a comprehension test. A story streamed single file along from a projector and each student was tested afterward. I failed miserably and was put into a class for "dummies."

"The words looked like the news we see streamed at the bottom of a television newscast or along the side of a certain office buildings. For me, the words jumped and danced and placed themselves in an order all their own. This was 40 years ago, and no one knew what they now know about dyslexia. I certainly wasn't stupid. I knew I wasn't. I yearned for the knowledge that the books held and went about to teach myself tricks so that I could decipher the messages and ideas on the pages of books and magazines. I taught myself to conquer my mixed-up way of seeing and unlocked the door to so many great stories. This added effort made my love of books all the greater"

Matthew Modine