Reading Passion – reading books and beyond (March Post #14)

Slice of Life logoThe Nerdy Book Club post for Thursday (March 13) got me thinking about the change in reading.  These lines are what kept ringing in my head.

“He cites that in 2002, only about 52% of Americans ages 18-24 reported reading books for pleasure.  I’m sure those numbers are still pretty accurate in 2014, and the percentage of disengaged readers may actually be a bit higher by now.” The he being Steven L. Layne’s who wrote –  Igniting a Passion for Reading:  Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers.  

I know the testing world has tried to pushed us away from “real reading” but when I think about the amount of blog’s one can follow about books and with book trailers it is amazing. When I think about the ability to get books or get to printed material – book stores, libraries (public and school), e-books, audio books, computers, free down loads, open culture.com, and more. I am always amazed -my e-mail box provides me with new book and articles to read every day. The reading materials is everywhere!

I think we need to expand our thinking of reading – from reading books to say just reading for pleasure. I agree that there is something special and important about a book – a long piece of writing to read, comprehend, puzzle over and enjoy. I also know that many of my students, friends and my son read all the time but are not reading books. They are reading and sharing -newspaper articles, computer articles, blogs and magazines about musicians, computers, cars, science advancements, jogging, biking, camping and so much more.

When we look at the data about reading books we are leaving out a large group of people. I can not and will not say my students or my son are not readers.

My son is one of those 18-24 year olds that is not a book reader. He reads one or two books a year, maybe, but he reads daily for long periods of time. He is a non- fiction geek! He is a computer native. He is constantly seeking new information on his many computers (phone, ipad, desk top) and using that information in his life. He puzzles over new ideas, he asks questions of himself and share these ideas with friend and reads further.

When we look at the data about reading are we including these readers? I don’t think so. I don’t think reading is declining but I do think reading is changing. I think we are igniting a passion for reading and providing successful strategies for building lifetime readers. We are a reading world it just might not be in book form.   

{I am currently asking a group of 3rd grade classroom how many of their students read for pleasure – open ended – read for pleasure meaning books, computers, magazines – just reading. I just want to know if they are reading anything other than what we as teachers are assigning.  I will keep you posted on what I find out.

Ask your students and let me know – How many answer yes to this question –

I read for pleasure?  Let them know it is any reading not just books.

If send me your total number of students and how many said yes!}

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Reflection, research. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Reading Passion – reading books and beyond (March Post #14)

  1. Tara Smith says:

    What a thought provoking post. reading is definitely changing – even I read much more online that ever before.

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