The Life of Bon: My stomach hurts when people say they don't like to read

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My stomach hurts when people say they don't like to read



Something's been bothering me lately and it has to do with our society's attitude about reading.  Quite frankly, it sucks!  I'm sick of people acting like they don't need to read and that books aren't important.  Hit the road!

Today a student came bounding into my classroom, saw the copies of Hamlet that were lying on all of the students' desks and did the typical seventeen year old moan.  I acted like I didn't notice because I like to think if I ignore bad behavior it will go away.  But I heard him talking to his friend, "Seriously?  We're going to have to read this?  Why read when we can just watch the movie?"

That was where I could no longer sit idly by.  I snapped, "Mitch don't you dare let me hear you say that again.  You seriously just want to watch the movie for everything in life instead of ever having to go to the effort of reading the book?"

"Yes," he answered sincerely.

"Then you're lazy," I answered, just as sincerely.  Maybe a little meanly.  I was mad.

It's so hard to get students to understand why reading is so important.  They just straight up don't get it.  If something has more than 160 characters, forget about it, they're out.  For an assessment last week I wanted them to read a five page article about the rise of online cheating.  They acted like I was tearing their eyeballs out.  Oh, they all looked at the comic I had given them just fine, but reading five pages?  Oh Teacher how dare you torture us so?!?

This is nothing new.  My first year teaching I was appalled by how many students wouldn't read the assigned chapters.  I threatened them with quizzes, discussion points, tests that went on for days.  But to no avail.  Students would rather just take a lower than sit down and read a couple of chapters.

I hear it every year, "THIRTY PAGES?!?  You're assigning us thirty pages of reading?!?  But Teacher I hate to read!"  It breaks my heart. 

What do I even say to these hoodlums who so freely and unashamedly admit their hatred for books?
"You're missing out?"
"Too bad?"
"I know it's a hard concept for your peon brain to grasp right now but I promise you there is value in reading and you will be grateful for the fact that I made you sit here and read?"

I used to think it was just my students.  I accepted the fact that not all of my 17 years will be dying to engage in a rip roaring conversation about To Kill a Mockingbird.  I'm still coping with this knowledge, but overall I have accepted the fact that I teach minions of book-hating teenagers.

But then something really shook me.  Is this more than just lazy teenagers?  Is this an epidemic?

It happened at parent teacher conference.  A mom came in with her son in tote.  As we visited, she explained to me that her son didn't like reading.  I said I understood, it's a common problem.  Then she said, "What can he do to pass the class without having to read the books because you see, he just really doesn't like to read, and I can tell you right now he won't read any of the books you assign.  But he needs to pass."

My jaw hit the floor.  Pass without reading any of the books?  You want me to pass your son but not make him do any of the required reading for a reading class?  Would this woman have the audacity to ask for a passing grade in math without doing any math or a passing grade in Spanish without speaking a lick of Spanish?  Then how was it that she had the nerve to ask for her son's passing grade in a  reading class without requiring him to read? I was so upset with the mother I almost couldn't continue the conference.  Instead of pushing her son to reach the expectations that were put in front of him, she was lowering the expectation so he wouldn't have to strain too hard to get it.  Instead of saying, "I know it might not be your favorite thing, but reading has immense value and you need to sit down and just power through those chapters" she was saying, "Oh this isn't fun for you?  Okay, you can stop."  "Oh you don't like something that's hard?  Go ahead and quit then.  It's not important anyway."

Am I fighting a lost battle here?  This year I even cracked.  I told my students that if they weren't going to read the book, then to at least read the sparknotes.  As if sparknotes could capture any of the beautiful nuances of language, the richness of the imagery, or the vast complexity in the symbolism.  But still.  I had to do it, right?  Half of my class shows up to class not having read a single page.  I figure it's better they at least go on sparknotes and read a summary of the chapters instead of being completely in the dark.

But then am I sell out?  A fake?  Telling my students just to read summaries of the book if they don't have enough time to read the real thing.  What kind of an English teacher am I?

And then I wonder if I am just holding on to some old fashioned conservative idea.  The idea of reading books and being passionate about words and letting your imagination run wild and getting completely lost in a story about people who never existed and yet exist all around us.  Is this a lost art?  Does it have no value in our society anymore?

I look at my students and the hopped up world that they are apart of and I can't help but understand why they struggle to sit down and read.  Social media is so visual and so much about instant gratification.  Books, on the other hand, require focus and commitment and patience.   I wonder what Instagram is teaching us- that the picture is more important than the words?  I wonder what Twitter is teaching us- that if you can't say something in less than 160 characters, it's not worth saying at all?  And then I understand why my students don't have the attention to read two chapters a night.

So what say ye fellow bloggers?  Do you like to read?  How often do you read?  Does reading fiction still hold a place in our society?  Or am I just some old grandma trying to hold on to once was?  Trying too hard to push my old world onto the ever changing ways of the new world?

*Excerpts of this post were published on October 11, 2012.

105 comments:

  1. I am floored! I read your paragraph about the Parent-Teacher Conference to my husband who hates reading and he was just as floored as me. He reads sports articles and church articles, and likes Harry Potter and Hunger Games, but that's really it. He only read 1 book all the way through in high school, but he understands that reading is still important in society.

    Sometimes I have the "let the world sit and burn and then they'll learn their lesson" attitude. I've always loved reading and writing and that will never change. But, I understand, especially since I am an English teacher now. Finding a way to get kids interested is the hardest part!

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    1. I don't think everyone has to be a reading fanatic per se, just that I want everyone to recognize that their is value and importance in reading. I get that no everyone will love it.

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    2. Ouch, for someone who reads a lot; is an English major; and so very critical...how is it that your grammar and spelling is so poor?

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  2. I love to read. I'm behind in my goal to read one new book every week this year, but I did read 51 books last year, and I'm at over 30 books this year. New books only--rereads don't count.

    I've always loved to read, but to be honest, I didn't like all the books we had to read in school. I only got halfway through The Scarlett Letter, and I depended on Sparknotes for the rest. I doubt I could have suffered through Hamlet.

    In regards to watching movies vs. reading books, Shakespeare is the only exception in which a performance is better than reading the material. Shakespeare's plays are PLAYS--they're intended to be seen on stage. I understood Macbeth a lot better after we watched a filmed version of the stage show.

    I know that you're required to teach certain books, and this whole Common Core thing is making everything more complicated. But one suggestion to encourage reading is to have a big book project based on the book of their choice (with your approval, of course). My sophomore English honors class did this. I ended up writing, directing, filming, and editing a short film version of 1984. Not only did I have to read the book very closely, I had to go back multiple times to the parts I found most significant and read up on the Sparknotes to make sure I included all the major points in the short film. Other students wrote regular papers and just did poster presentations. One student made a board game for Siddhartha based on his journey.

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    1. Wow 52 books in a year?! You are an inspiration! I usually manage about 30 but can't seem to get much higher than that

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    2. Also, I agree that Shakespeare's plays should be performed for sure! However I don't necessarily think that just seeing the play is enough to truly understand his work as there are so many nuances in his language that it is impossible to appreciate and comprehend fully what he is saying just from seeing it performed. Shakespeare is a powerful drug and has to be inhaled slowly!

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  3. I was totally that obnoxious teenager that told everyone I hated reading. Now that I make an effort to read books, I look back and regret being a lazy teenager because I finally realized reading is such a good thing. It opens your eyes and mind to a whole new world!

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  4. Reading books is something you learn from your parents. Like manners and how to make pot roast. My moms never taught me how to make a pot roast but she taught me to love reading.

    I read close to 100 books a year. I have two small children. Reading is a priority in my life. It's my medicine, it's my air. I can't imagine a life without books. A life without stories. A life without words.
    It takes one book to change a heart and I will pray that your atudents will one day find their Catcher in the Rye, their Love Story, their A Fault in out Stars.
    Show them Bon. They have to learn how to love reading.
    Xoxo

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    1. I agree. Reading books is something that we learn from our parents and/or guardians. About that parent teacher conference that you mentioned, I think it's one of the main causes on why children seem lazier when it comes to reading books. The fact that the mum is making excuses for her son, rather than telling him that reading books is essential for his education, is the reason why his son will continue to be lazy.

      I love reading not only because my mum gave me several books to read, but also because I was told several times that reading will help me in my academics. Personally, I think that reading strengthens a person's ability to write, improve grammar, construct sentences, etc.

      I hope that more people especially students realise that reading WILL help them in several things!

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    2. I often ignore my two small children if I am in a good part of my book, and I tell myself that I am actually being a good parent because I am modeling a love of reading!

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    3. Such a beautiful way of saying this, Meg!

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  5. I love reading and I read read read to my kids like crazy because any time they ask to read, you better believe I'm going to honor that. It's so weird how our schools are supposedly becoming more and more rigorous and our culture is becoming more and more lazy.

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  6. You aren't fighting a lost battle, because I'm graduating college in May to be a teacher and reading is NOT OPTIONAL in my classroom. Reading is the best. I hate when people say they don't like to read. UGH.

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  7. I love to read and always get sad when someone says that they don't enjoy it. I feel like they're missing out. I'm not surprised that you have a lot of students who don't enjoy reading... it seems like the need to read and the benefits of reading aren't stressed like they used to be. I don't even really know how this problem can be fixed. But parents who indulge laziness in their children and don't preach the benefits of reading are truly doing their children a disservice.

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    1. I agree completely! A total disservice but it's hard to know where to start in stopping this trend.

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  8. What I don't understand is how people can openly admit that they hate reading and not see a problem with that. Not only is reading the key component of gathering new knowledge and educating ourselves but hello...reading is communication. Writing is a way to express yourself creatively, and it is CRUCIAL to make it by in a literate society. I love to read, that being said there are texts that I don't find fun and that may be difficult for me, however I accept that I must push myself to read them and understand them because that is how I will learn. I never regret pushing myself to learn and be more and I don't think you are old fashioned for wanting the same for your students!

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  9. I have always loved reading and my English classes were always my favorite in high school but since I started college I have had too much reading for class to do much outside of class reading. Until recently when I decided that I loved reading and it would make me much happier than wasting that time on other things. It has made me a happier person and I think it has improved my school work. I hope that reading doesn't become a lost part of our society.

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  10. I LOVE reading. During my youth, my punishment for fighting with siblings or not doing chores was losing my beloved books. I'm not going to be teaching English like you, but I am getting a minor in English and I love the arts of language and literature. It makes me sad that students and teachers alike are forsaking books, and I certainly don't think you're old fashioned. The world is just too blind and caught up in the hustle and bustle of the here-and-now and the instant-everything to recognize the power of literature.

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    1. This is awesome! I love that your books being taken away was a punishment. Kudos to your parents.

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  11. I have always felt like the odd man out on this, maybe because I grew up in an almost exclusively illiterate school. It seemed like everyone was always not reading/getting handwritten notes from parents saying 'excuse my child from reading'/talking about how lame or stupid reading is to sound cool and shield the fact that they couldn't read.

    I can understand that reading as a hobby or reading for fun is not everyone's bag but the fact that people want to get their kids out of it just infuriates me. In Sweden where I am right now my boss's eleven year old son is already reading short stories in English. Eleven and reading a second language in school. If you told an eleven year old in America to read stories in Swedish the school system would go into meltdown.

    I'm happy that the school systems have a few old crazy ladies like you who live in the past and are naggy about being respectful toward books. IF I had kids that'd be exactly who I'd want teaching them.

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  12. My brother used to say, "Why read a book when you can get the info so much quicker on TV." That was until grade 11 when he went on holiday with his cousins (all boys). Fortunately my cousins like to read and he found himselfs bored while they were all reading, so he read his first novel. Now he is probably the only member of my family that I trade books with.

    So whenever I hear students of mine complaining about having to read a lot, i remind myself of thise who do. Like one of my grade 9 students, who seems like he is one of the popular guys in school. He likes to discuss these 1000 page fantasy novels with me, asking my opinion abont some characters and chapters. Or another parent who punishes her grade 4 daughter by not allowing her to read her movels until she has done her homework and rewards her with new books when she does well at school.

    I wish all my students were as avid readers, so I keep on encouraging and hoping.

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    1. What a terrific story. I love the influence his cousins had on him.

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  13. I taught in middle school, high school, and college. Only a handful of students said they enjoyed reading and it devastated me. I did my best to get kids excited about the texts we were going through and sometimes it worked, but most of the time I knew that they were doing it because they had to and not because they wanted to. As I child I read every thing that I could, but my love for reading waned for a while during my adolescence. I read some really enjoyable books and plays in school, I just didn't chose a lot for myself outside of school.

    It's funny because Bleubird just made a post about reading, too. I've found that I don't challenge myself as much as a reader anymore, but I do enjoy reading. Whenever I get away from for too long, I always miss it. Right now I'm reading Mindy Kaling's book and I'm between a bunch of other novels (I have a serious problem with starting and stopping books!). I also, so happily, read fan fiction. Whenever I start to feel bad about how few books I consume throughout the year, I remember that I'm reading plenty of 30,000 + individual fics...which turns out to be quite a few books. ;)

    The Rambling Fangirl

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  14. Ok, I'm going to chime in here and try to say something intelligent.

    You're right... it is really sad that a lot of your students don't do the reading or think they can pass a reading class without reading. But honestly, I would have also moaned at the sight of Hamlet. Ugh. IT's not for everyone. And it's school... what do you expect? Do kids jump up and down with excitement to do math problems? Or memorize the periodic chart? They're young still and don't realize yet the value of it. Also, I wouldn't judge the mother too harshly. There's only so much one can do with their child... I mean, you don't know the extent of her efforts over the years to get her kid to read, and then he still won't read. You can't force a kid. IT's kind of like with Caroline and eating. It's a daily battle for me. And if a wonderful chef wanted her to eat a spectacular dish he had prepared, I'm sorry, there's just no way to get that girl to do it. I know Beck who loves the written word more than anyone out there has had trouble getting some of her kids to enjoy reading. And yeah, there's so much competition out there for their attention... like you said social media being the biggest one. You definitely have an uphill battle on your hands. BUT I have to say, and I think I said this before, that you shouldn't look down on others (like the teachers) who don't happen to enjoy reading, especially fiction. That doesn't mean their uneducated or lazy or ignorant or have no world view. It's just not their bag and there's a gajillion other ways to learn. Movies can be great, documentaries that discuss current issues or history can be wonderful, watching the news, listening to podcasts, etc. Reading (especially fiction) just isn't for everyone, just like assembling a computer, or tinkering with a car, or being a whiz at biology, or a math nerd, or an exercise guru or what have you isn't for every person on the planet. It's great that you have your passion, but don't look down on others because they don't share it. Expecting your students to read for a reading class is another story though. Hopefully your enthusiasm will rub off on them!! You definitely have your work cut out for you!! Love you!

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    1. I agree with you about the value of documentaries, current issues, etc. but I guess my probelms comes when I feel like students and or parents are looking for a way out of every assignment. I know that not everyone will love reading fiction, but I do think that everyone should recognize reading's basic value and importance- its ability to help cultivate creativity and imagination and its ability to help us focus and work for information. Reading will always be more work than watching something and so my problem comes when students NEVER want to read because essentially it requires more effort.

      Also, I notice you're always playing the devil's advocate on my posts! What the heck? :) LOVE YOU!

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  15. Don't get discouraged. There are plenty of people that still like to read. My husband and I visit the library every week to stock up on new books. I have a couple of coworkers that say they don't read and I'm pretty sure they do it now because they know it bugs me. I will not give up on trying to bring them to the write(right) side. My husband didn't know a lick of English until fifth grade when a teacher assigned him extra reading as a means to improve his comprehension skills. He spent that whole summer reading and still talks about that teacher in the highest regard. It's actually quite annoying how great of a reader he is now. We've tried many book clubs together and it always ends with me getting frustrated because he finishes the book eons before me. What a showoff!

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  16. I read A LOT. My bf doesn't. He can't concentrate and reading doesn't 'work' for him.

    Just because someone doesn't read doesn't mean they are any less of a person. You're not better than anyone just because you read books and they don't. Reading books - especially fictional genres - isn't something everyone loves or even has to. You don't expect everyone to like films or have an interest in sport or want to participate in extreme outdoor activities do you? So why do you expect everyone to have an interest in books?

    People don't need to read BOOKS. Reading itself is important and I doubt very much if you could find me many people who don't read at all. It might not be books they are reading but news articles online or in magazine or in newspapers. Also it's no good just reading any old book. Not all books have valuable content in them. You could read hundreds of books a year and actually know less than someone who has an interest in history or world events.

    I think your attitude needs a rethink.

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    1. I appreciate your comment, Sophie. I certainly wasn't trying to imply that people should be looked down upon or are "not as good" as the rest of us because they don't enjoy reading. I get that some people will never enjoy reading. My problem comes when as a society we fail to see the inherent value of reading. I don't think it's necessarily fair to compare reading with "watching a movie" or "extreme sports" because my point is that it is so much more than just a hobby. If we only see it as a pastime or hobby than we are refusing to recognize that it does so much more than just entertain us. Reading serves to cultivate our imagination, to inspire creativity, to understand people, cultures, historical events, politics etc. around us. Not to mention that sustained reading teaches us to focus and pay attention- skills that I feel like are being lost in the modern world. Not to mention that reading acts as a springboard for other academic pursuits- politics, psychology, history etc all rely on a strong reading ability. That is not to say that other activities can not teach us these things, just that I believe reading has more power than almost anything else in this world to make us intelligent, thoughtful people. Not everyone has to read fiction for pleasure, but when a teacher asks a student to read something for class (especially something that is highly regarded as essential literature like Hamlet) it bothers me that students will immediately try to find a way out of this because they do not value reading. And no, watching a movie does not have the same value as reading a book and never will.

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  17. What started out as a Girl Scout troop in first grade morphed into a book club this year in sixth grade. Our next meeting, we will discuss "And then there were none" by Agatha Christie. There has been a lively debate on what else we are reading this year, so we are taking it book by book, but reading is alive and well in my corner of the world!

    I love to read. I have a kindle, which is nice for traveling, but my husband is convinced he's going to die in a crushing avalanche of the books I have stacked all over the house that a kindle does not replace. My husband though, is not a reader. He has had comprehension issues since he was a child, but back when we were in school, smart kids didn't have learning issues and so it was never addressed. Therefore, he doesn't like to read. I get it.

    However, the mother asking for her son to not have to read - Is she going to go to college with him and do the same there? What if he doesn't want to have to work for a living? Is she going to continue to support him? Ridiculous and inexcusable. I don't like to do laundry or scrub the bathroom, but I do it anyway. Life is full of things we don't want to do but we have to anyway.

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  18. I love to read. I have always loved reading. That's why I'm an English major with a concentration in creative writing. Even so, it's surprising to me that many people in my program don't like reading. I don't think they're in the right program. Anyway, what I tell people who say that they don't like to read is that they just haven't found a book worth reading yet. My brother, for example, hated reading until recently. Now he's really into Fitzgerald and Steinbeck. It's highly subjective.

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  19. I use to hate reading in school. I could flip through a magazine and that was my extent of reading. My mom hated that I wouldn't pick up a book (she's an avid reader and published author) but I just couldn't get into reading. My MIL bought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas two years ago and my reading life has never been the same. This year I've read 43 books so far. I'm not sure what changed me maybe it was that now I can pick out what I want to read and it isn't something that is forced on me like it was in school. Keep trying, maybe some day they will learn to love reading.

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  20. I just don't get this. I raised readers. Even my dyslexic daughter who is way below her grade level, loves to read. Sometimes what she thinks it says and what it really says is hilarious.

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  21. Wow. This makes me incredibly sad. My favorite memories of high school were in my literature class, diving into Pride and Prejudice or Tess of the D'Ubervilles or Huck Finn and exploring the world in which they lived. The fact that both students and teachers have these feelings about reading...it's a little heartbreaking!

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  22. I love reading. My favorite thing to do, hands down. I can't even remember a time when I wasn't carrying around huge books and being made fun of. I'd read classic/modern lit and SFF. But honestly, even I didn't read all the required books for high school even though I knew it was important to have a basic background in British/American lit. And even if I did read them, I didn't remember them as much, unless I really liked it. I was much more likely to read books for school if I could choose from a list of a specific type. Not going to lie, Hamlet was a drag for me - possibly due to how my teacher taught it. It's hard to get through the language; that's why I really love that Romeo and Juliet film from the 90s, that keeps the language intact in a modern day setting.

    Fiction/creative writing totally SHOULD still have a place in our society, but it's appalling how many people just don't read because they think it's boring. Or how people won't watch foreign movies because of the subtitles. Not everyone needs to read hundreds of books a year, but finding something you enjoy will really open your mind. But more and more, kids are getting used to passive, instant entertainment in the form of social media, TV, and games, and for a lot of people, reading can be a slow process.

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  24. I used to read for fun in my elementary days, and then in Jr. High and HS I kind of got bored with it because I was forced to read things I didn't particularly want to. You have a lot of forced reading assignments in school - In History you read, in Sciences you read... and you don't have time to read the fun fictional reading because you're too busy reading for other classes. I hated it. Even in college I disliked it and only read on occasion when I didn't have to read lots of chapters in my other courses. BUT now that I'm an adult, I absolutely love it. I was on bedrest this year and I read a book a day. So much better than the noise of TV and I get to say what the characters look like and sound like. I think when you get to choose the books yourself, it's much much better because you aren't being forced into it.

    Also- I get why you'd suggest spark notes; however, I wouldn't have given them the option. They already know about them, and I would guess that since you gave them an out that more of them actually went that route than would have normally since you were the one to suggest it initially.

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    1. Ah! My feelings are so conflicted as far as the sparknotes go. I totally get what you mean that I essentially gave them an "out" and suggested it initially so then they think it's okay. I do make the tests difficult enough that even with a thorough reading of sparknotes the best they could get without doing the actual reading is probably a C. I tell them if you don't do any of the work you will get an F, if you sparknote the book you will get a C and if you read the book you will get an A. I still don't know how I feel about it but I guess my worry was that I was losing too many students. You'd be surprised how many students don't know sparknotes exist and so get zeroes on every single book assignment. I figure having a vague knowledge of the story, the characters, and the themes in the work and being able to at least discuss them (even if not in depth) is better than not knowing a dang thing.

      Like I said- I'm terribly conflicted and I appreciate your thoughts on this.

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  25. This post really does make me sad. I'm impressed that you have been able to control your responses so far, ha! I feel like it's really hard for me to identify with because I love reading so much. L.O.V.E. it. No one in my family read growing up - I was the only one, even as a child. But at the same time, my mom always encouraged it, so the parental reaction baffles me.

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  26. And this is why I'm glad I'm not an English teacher. lol. I've had a lot of conversations with some of the teenagers I work with though about books and reading. They know I LOVE books and I'm always shocked when they say they don't like to read. But when I actually get them into conversation about why, and getting beyond the "it's boring" type of stuff... it's really interesting. I think one of the big culprits is how we approach it when kids are young in elementary school. One of the big things I've heard from kids is that they've never enjoyed the books they were required to read, so they now just assume every book is going to be the same way. They're discouraged from reading what they actually WANT to read - so they give up. Do the schools in your area do the Accelerated Reader program? They do where I live, and when I was in school. Even as an avid reader in elementary school, I see where the AR program fails. The books I actually enjoyed - they were RARELY on the AR list. So I would have to sit down and read books that I didn't like or had no interest in picking up. Yeah, there were times when I would pick up something different than I normally would and enjoy it, but more often than not, I just read the book to get the points I needed then moved onto what I really enjoyed. Not all kids are like me where they're willing to read more than one book at a time. I get why we require kids to read certain types of books and all, but we're also forcing them to do something they don't want to and it shuts them off to every type of book. Even in my English classes in high school, I remember one kid bringing up how he hated the books we read. He never read, he never got his work done, he was a slacker. But he said that if we were required to read things that were newer and he would actually be interested in, he would crack open the book. I feel like there needs to be some sort of balance. What if schools in English classes were able to do a mix of both? Read some of the classics, then let the classes choose the next one they read. Or something like that. And do it early on so the love of reading can be instilled in them early. I feel like by the time they get to high school... it's almost too late.

    Sorry... that was really long and just a train of thought before I've finished my cup of coffee. That might not even make sense. lol

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    1. Excellent comment! The issues with letting students read whatever they want is 1) Accessibility to the books. Many kids that attend my high school come from low income housing and would not be able to purchase the books on their own or do not have access to a library. The school could not possibly purchase any book that the students wanted to read and 2) grading. How do I grade work for possibly 50 different books- half of which I probably haven't read. How do I create a test or ensure that they did the reading? How do I conduct classroom activities based around a text when they are all reading different things? I have yet to figure this out and these two reasons have always stopped me from allowing kids to choose what they read- let me know if you have any ideas!

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  27. I find so much value in reading. I love to read, but that doesn't mean I like to read everything. I truly believe people are more creative, brighter and understanding from reading. There are so many options that there is something for everyone out there! I don't read as much as I'd like to, but it does make me sad that our society is steering away from reading.

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  28. I love to read. There isn't very much that I won't read. I'm still a book kind of girl, too. Sure, I'll read on my ipad, but there is just something about holding a book in your hands that still gets me. Actually turning the pages instead of swiping them.

    Getting my 13 year old son to read, on the other hand, is like pulling teeth. It upsets me so much! He has to read 20 minutes at home everyday for school. I wish someone would tell me to go sit down somewhere quiet for 20 minutes and read!!!

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  29. I'm definitely seeing your point here. I do love reading, I think I loved it more a few years back, which makes me sad. I haven't read much lately, I end up watching more tv than reading, but I'd like to incorporate more reading into my life. If I could join your bookclub, I would! It is frustrating how parents behave these days and honestly, I wonder how it got to that point. My parents were NEVER like that and I intend to NEVER be like that, yet there are parents these days who are and I just wonder where their gap came in to think that expecting less of your child is okay.... it's sad really! I don't think you're expecting too much, I think those kids need to suck it up. You don't go to school to enjoy yourself, I'm sorry, you don't. You go because it's good for you and you need to. Sure, you'll find a subject you enjoy and honestly, english was my least favorite, but you know what? I went... because it was my duty, my responsibility and if I didn't read a book I was suppose to, I suffered with a bad grade and hopefully chose to read the next book or the next chapters before the next test, and if I didn't? Well... I just suffered again. But I wouldn't blame anyone else for that - it's my own laziness. I think you should do a "pop reading day". A day where they are required to sit in class and just read. Don't tell them it's coming, just give them the "time" that they claim to never have to just sit there and read. Have a few books available in case they don't have one with them, but make it a mandatory participation and give them a grade for the day based on their reading. I'm not sure if that would actually work haha, but maybe it'll help? I don't know... I'm with you though, it's all just sad that people don't enjoy reading like they should and that parents let their kids believe that they should go through life getting everything the easy way.

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    1. I love the mandatory read day! I have actually done a version of that- a read a thon of sorts except for it was with a book we were all reading. It turned out great and we had food and they all came in their pajamas and loved it. My problem with letting them all read anything they wanted is how would i monitor that they were actually reading instead of just sleeping or playing on their phones? Ideas? Would I test them on this to make sure that they did it because otherwise i would be afraid it would just turn in their eyes into a "free day." Sad that we have to make kids so accountable or they won't do it.

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  30. Jaw to floor...that mom actually said that? Wow! I would have said something like well then read it to him just to see the expression she would give back! ;) Not really but that's what would have been funny to say. I love to read, I go to the library multiple times a week. My husband likes to read on the computer, not actual books but at least he's reading. I have friends who have said the above and I'm like well I love it and always will!

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  31. WHAT?! How can people say that?! I adore reading, I wish there was a way I could make it my full time job! There is nothing better and I do mean nothing, then curling up with a cup of tea and a book that you can't put down! I get anxiety if I have forgotten a book or my kindle when I'm out and about, especially because I commute! I'm also so sad because I had a beautiful, well attended book club going at my old job. Here? No one is interested :( What is this world coming to?! (Too dramatic?) PS if you're looking for a good read, please read "The Husbands Secret"! You should do it for your next book club, its amazing!

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    1. I will put it on my to read list! Thanks for the suggestion!

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  32. It breaks my heart also when people say they don't read. Between my English degree and my Library Science masters (big nerd over here), I'm a firm believer in the importance of reading, no matter what it is. I can't BELIEVE that story about the mother who wanted her son to pass your class without reading. My parent's wouldn't let my sister and I have TVs in our rooms to encourage us to read before bed, instead of mindlessly zoning out, haha.

    Thank goodness there are teachers like you who really care! Love your blog, love your writing!

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  33. I'm a college student and to be honest I don't mind reading. Its much more of a struggle to read when its something I have no interest in. If its a good book, sure. If it's history that fascinates me, you know I'm there. I can agree that my generation so to speak has become VERY lazy. I guess because we'd rather consume our time in things we give more flying craps about...like social media.

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  34. I've often posted on my blog about the "funny" questions I've had while reading classics out in public. Not only have I quickly realized that most people just aren't familiar with the classics, I'm realizing that a lot of people just don't read period. As a 7th grade teacher myself, I often ask myself the same question---how can I help my kids to like reading? Luckily, in my department, we've collectively decided to let the kids have a lot of choice in what they're reading, which helps a lot. The only book we teach all together is A Christmas Carol, and every other book is a book that is self-selected by the student. I've also planned little "book talks" every time we start reading a new type of book to let the students know some recommended titles, and I let the students (at the end of their books) voluntarily share if they liked or did not like their book with the rest of the class. It still hasn't turned everyone into a reader, but I think it's starting to win a couple of kids over...

    Don't give up on trying to teach your kids to appreciate good literature. If they're not going to learn that hard things are worth it from their parents, then you and I are the only shot they've got. Keep up the fight!

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  35. Hi Bonnie. First time commenter here. I love to read and so do both my children. I think that seeing that Mom enjoys reading and reads to them makes all the difference. They are not independent readers yet, but will take books and make up their own stories to go with the pictures. I've even caught them flipping through the pages of my books pretending they are reading.

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  36. I love to read, but I often have a hard time finding the time to fit in to my schedule - it's usually relegated to the last 10-15 minutes I'm awake before I fall asleep. I wish I had more time to read on a day-to-day basis. I love how sometimes you can trace a line through literature and other media, from one era to the next, through allusions to other writers and novels. It's great to be able to say, "Hey! That's a reference to XYZ! I read that and I understand it! Way cool!"

    I totally see how many kids don't like or want to read - they don't get the same low-effort instant gratification like from a video game or something on the television - but it IS heartbreaking. Honestly, I HATED having to read something for school - I always dreaded it. I couldn't enjoy it because I had to analyze it instead of getting lost in the story. During vacations, I'd pour through books, getting to about 700-1000 pages a week, but during a work week I struggle to hit 100, and during school, I didn't even read anything for personal enjoyment.

    I am in awe of that mother, she is part of whats wrong with teens today - they get a trophy just because they show up, because they are in class, they deserve an A. It is terrible. I was a writing tutor and have turned students away 10-15 minutes into the appointment because they haven't done the required reading, yet expected ME to write their paper for them. Um heck no! You go back and read your book and DON'T COME BACK UNTIL IT'S DONE! If you don't, I WILL tell your professor that you were completely unprepared and it will reflect poorly on you!

    I think that MOST people who don't like to read are just lazy - the other 10%, I give some leeway, usually because they have a disability that makes reading difficult (ADD, dyslexia, etc).

    I agree, don't give up! I know you have a strict curriculum, but is there any room for independent reading choices? Maybe that will help students be able to enjoy it more?

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  37. I love reading as a hobby and I know a lot of my friends do too but sometimes reading stuff that i don't want too like macbeth was really boring for me. I still read them though and can't believe someone would ask if they can pass without reading it!

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  38. Personally, as an avid reader, I think the issue that most non-readers struggle with is how fast each story moves. There are some books that naturally have a lot going on, while others focus on language. The latter just doesn't engage non-readers the way that action-packed plot-driven books will. Also, maybe consider doing more in-class exercises for some of the books that you could only fully enjoy if you read them? These are just some ideas! Best of luck!

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  39. My mom read to my siblings and I from the moment we were all born and it sparked our love of reading. Even my brother will choose reading books over video games. We were all early readers too so I will definitely be doing the same when I have my own kids. People who just don't like to read completely blow my mind. I feel sad for them - they're definitely missing out!

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  40. I love reading. That is one of the first things I say to people when they ask what my hobbies are. I do go through spurts where I will read A LOT! and then times when I am just reading blogs and my scriptures. But I have noticed that if I haven't been reading something for a while, I forget things. I forget how to spell bigger words, I forget how a correct sentence is put together (not saying all authors have correct sentences) but when you read you are continuing to learn. Not only that, but you get to live in a life that isn't your own for a while. If you life is good or bad, it is so nice to just be someone else for a little bit while you are reading. It is so nice to read a love story and fall in love all over again, to be a hero, to do something that you would never really do in real life. I notice too that my language when I'm talking is different too after I have been reading. I feel more sophisticated. Reading is very essential! Those kids need to realized that books are okay. I was talking to my younger sister the other day (she is a junior) She was telling me that she needed to go take some books back to the library, and get some new books to read. I kind of made fun of her for a second that she was still using the library, but then she said, "I like to have the real book in my hand. I tried reading off my phone but it's just not the same." WE ARE FAMILY! I was so happy to hear her say that. So even though some of these kids just aren't getting it, don't give up. My sister is crazy and not into education, but she is still reading, and with the real book. There is hope! Good Luck!!!

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  41. I love to read, but I don't do it as often as I probably should. We live in such a fast paced world, that movies or TV are a much easier option and like you said, instant gratification, is part of the problem. You can't skip to the end of a book and it all make sense, but 85% of people don't care to take the time to sit down and relax with a book.
    Then, with students it's mainly because you're making them read a book they don't want to read or have zero interest in.

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  42. I love reading. One of my favorite hobbies. But there were some books in school that I wasn't in to. I won't lie. On a normal day if I have a good book at home I would much rather spend hours reading it than watch TV.

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  43. I feel your pain Bon. I can't even get my kids to read bulleted directions for activities in class. As for asking them to explain their reasoning, I'm lucky to get one word. I love to read too, and have always held the belief that it's just a matter of finding the right type of reading material, but the kids get it from their parents. As for parents asking how their kid could pass without reading, they do ask the math teachers how their kids can pass without being able to even have a single logical thought. It's not just ELA that's feeling the pain.

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  44. I love reading (and writing). They're both probably the two consistent hobbies I've held for my entire life. I think I am echoing what some other commenters have said in that it is up to the parents to teach an appreciation for books. My mom read to us every night and helped us read books on our own, so of course I hope I can do that with my own children one day. That being said, there were definitely books I hated reading in high school (Red Badge of Courage...THE WORST). I know all about having to teach what you're told (my mom is a teacher), but if there is ever a chance for you to let them choose a book to read and do a project on, then take it! I think sometimes kids don't realize that there are more options out there--maybe they aren't the biggest fan of fiction, but maybe they could find some really great non-fiction reads that might spark their interest. I do see this as a bigger problem in society, so I know it's a tough sell. Good luck, and can't wait to read more about it!

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  45. I love love love love love to read. I was so excited when I finally had space in my apartment for bookshelves so I could unpack my boxes and boxes of glorious books. I love how they smell, I love turning the pages, I love getting lost in the story. I do not allow my daughter to not read. That's unacceptable. You will not sit and stare at a screen for hours and not read. That mother needs a spanking.

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    1. I agree! I love the ambience that books create. A nook or kindle will never do it for me because I have to have the book in my hand. I'm an old fashioned girl that way.

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  46. Goodness, this breaks my heart. I have also had a extreme love of reading. I so enjoy that feeling of involvement with the story, the characters. My son is 14 months old and I'm sharing that joy with him. He gets so excited as he brings me a book to read and look at with him. I know this may change as he grows older, but I sure hope not!

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  47. This makes me so sad! I teach 6th grade and I would say about 90% of my students LOVE to read! Like they are all border-line obsessed! I had parent/teacher conferences last week and I was able to see a big correlation between the students who love to read and have good grades. Really, the students who love to read and can barely put their books down are smarter, more respectful, and just all around amazing kids.

    I don't remember middle schoolers adoring reading this much when I, myself, was in middle school. I remember being the only person I knew who read books for fun and genuinely liked it. It was a way for me to escape the real world.

    The good grades and abundance of readers is not our school's demographic either. We're about 60% free and reduced lunch. I'm guessing they just got ahold of a book that interested them and from then on it stuck. I really hope that their attitudes about reading don't change between 6th grade and high school.

    There is hope. I could not force myself to read a page when I was younger. I hated it. I would cry in frustration if anyone tried to make me read. And then I stumbled upon one book that changed all of that.

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    1. That is so sad! It makes me wonder what happens in between 6th grade and 10th grade that makes them lose their love of reading. Too many hormones?

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  48. I'm confused...isn't reading part of the high school curriculum? So if they don't do it, they won't be able to answer test questions or complete assignments, so they won't pass, right? They should fail. That may be harsh, but it's the curriculum! Shame on the parents.

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  49. I can't believe that parent said that to you. Wow. And a TEACHER doesn't read? Wow again!

    Though I'll be honest, I'm a huge reader, but I always hated reading what was assigned to me! I liked the freedom of choosing my own book. I skimmed the books I was supposed to read in high school, which I suppose is better than nothing, and then got down with my own faves.

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    1. Yes, I think something about being "required" to do anything takes the fun out of it. Someone tells me I'm required to do my favorite thing in the world and suddenly I don't want to do it anymore! I guess it just speaks to how much we all value our agency.

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  50. I am RIGHT there with you. Reading for me has always been a completely magical thing. A way to learn, to escape, to experience something different. It breaks my hear to see so many people who never learned how amazing it is.

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  51. I love to read, am hopefull I am passing that passion onto my children, and praying that my children always have brilliant , caring teachers like you. Keep the faith - you are making a difference!

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  52. I love to read but to be fair, I hated reading most of the assigned books in school. The Scarlet Letter? PLEASE! I can appreciate that Hawthorne was a great writer to some, but dear god that book was terrible trying to read the first few chapters. I thought the story line was great but I didn't like his writing enough to read the book, even though it was assigned. Same with Huckleberry Finn. I was a junior in high school when that book was assigned and I would have probably liked that book in middle school, but not now. Julius Caesar? was it really necessary for me to memorize the eulogy? Not really. Also, as much as I loved The Great Gatsby, if I had to listen to one more minute about gold being a symbol for wealth, I was going to scream.

    I will say my senior english teacher hit the ball out of the park with the book selections. Angela's Ashes and Brave New World remains one of my favorites to this day. Brave New World is what actually got me into dystopian novels in the first place. (Good thing they suddenly became a trend when Hunger Games got popular, right?)

    And school textbooks? Yawn. I rarely ever read a word. I never remembered what I read anyway.

    But, as far as actually reading books that I pick out? LOVE it. I can spend hours in barnes and noble and then go straight home and buy the books for my nook because it's easier to carry around and I can switch books easily. Plus, I'm in the process of writing my own book and I know that by reading other great authors, it comes out in my writing. I definitely don't plagiarize but I can tell a difference in my writing when I'm reading a well written book vs. a poorly written, guilty pleasure type of book. I sure hope reading isn't dead because then no one will read my book when it's done!

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    1. remain two of my favorites**

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  53. I love to read. When I was in high school teachers were always amazed at what I was reading on my own free will. It was actually in my favor, I never tested well. Just had too much anxiety towards it. So my teachers would tell me to read different books that the other students didn't have to read then tell them why I loved it and they counted it as a test. I still read way too much its kind of a sickness to a degree.

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  54. I will be honest. I HATED reading growing up and the main reason was, i was a really bad reader and I was embarrassed to read in public and frustrated when I tried to read on my own. As i got older and developed my skills and started reading books that I enjoyed, i grew to love it. Its probably a phase that they are going through..hopefully..but i dont believe its a lost battle, they will learn to love it.

    by the way..my stomach hurts whenever someone says they love Twilight or 50 Shades...*puke face*

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  55. I love to read! When I met Ryan he told me he hated to read. I couldn't believe it! It wasn't until we were married that I realized he doesn't hate to read, he just doesn't like what I like. Give him a biography or any other non-fiction and he'll read it and like it, but the fictional stuff i love he just doesn't get. Maybe take suggestions on one book a semester that they'd like to read and let them read it if they read all the required reading and get a certain grade as a class on those assignments.-

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  56. I love to read! Two of my three kids enjoy reading, but my oldest (daughter) will not read! It drives me crazy! I can never figure out how a child of mine won't read! So sad!!!!

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  57. WOW - How can TEACHERS not be readers?! I read every single night, no matter how many papers I have to grade or other things to do. It is what I do every night before bed, no matter how many pages I read. How can we expect students to read when we are not modeling that we are lifelong readers and learners, too? I make it a point to show students what I am reading. Our school is doing a 40 book challenge with the students AND teachers and all of the students and teachers showcase all of the books they are reading. For every book that I finish, I post a picture of the book cover on a poster outside my classroom for all to see. We must model for our kids what reading looks like!!!!

    Our school does not allow textbooks or reading books (materials) to go home, so all of our reading is done in class. It is very rare that I assign homework. This does help, because they are forced to read in class. I have eighth graders and we are currently reading "The Giver." Our curriculum is designed where I read it to them, but they are responsible for the comprehension strategies and lots and lots of discussion.

    A great post, I enjoyed reading!

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    1. I love how you show your students what you are reading. I should do this too- it would also be so good to acquaint them with books outside of the traditional high school canon.

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  58. I LOVE to read! But growing up I was the minority among my peers.

    I would read anything- books, comics, fiction, non-fiction. Waiting for a ride, in the car- anywhere if I need to pass the time!

    As an adult, I much rather read a book than watch TV. I read whenever I can! Most of the time I'm watching a show because my husband wants to and cuddling on the couch > reading by myself on the couch in terms of quality time.

    I pray my son will inherit my love for books. We read 5-6 books a night, about 6 nights/week. He will be required to read a few pages a day when he's older. He may not love it, but I hope he'll one day appreciate it! (he'll be 2 in December, by the way).

    I can imagine kids not wanting to read. But I can't imagine a parent, as you said, "lowering the expectation" for the kid to succeed! I say keep that bar high! That kid will be surprised at what he can accomplish when someone pushes, encourages, and supports him!

    Lowering that expectation just says, "Well, you think you can't do it. And I think you're right. I don't think you can do it so you don't have to. I'll lower my expectations."

    When we should be shouting, "You can do this! You are awesome and amazing and I know you can accomplish great things! It may not be your idea of fun but it will benefit you, I promise! I believe in you!"

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  59. I love to read. I was always the kid that came home from the library with more books than she could possibly handle before the due date. But I hated reading for school and almost always struggled to finish assigned reading.

    In AP English Lit in high school, we had to read a different book every 2 weeks, and 5 books over the summer. I finished 3 books all year. Part of it was the time crunch, but a lot of it was the books that were assigned. After finding no redeeming value in Hemingway or Faulkner (sorry), I gave up on pushing through books that were completely uninteresting. Pretty much all of it was.

    I can imagine that if you don't read a lot when you're younger and only have to deal with the classics, you may never discover that so many other wonderful genres exist. I'm sure plenty of people love the books that are assigned, and that's why they become classics. But I can name 5 books I hated for every book I loved that was assigned in class, and if an avid reader is going to throw in the towel, I can see why someone who doesn't read would determine that they hate it.

    As for fixing it, I'd love to believe that helping everyone find their genre and style would be a great start, but I understand the teaching standards are next to impossible to move and you wind up having to spend months on the same book. (That's another thing - I originally liked To Kill A Mockingbird, but after we spent an entire quarter on it I can't even look at it without feeling anger and irritation).

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  60. Oh my gosh -- yes. A few weeks ago, my manager asked what I had planned for the weekend, and I told him I've been so busy lately that I was looking forward to just reading all weekend. He was like, "That's nerdy. Seriously?" He went on to say he doesn't like reading and that he falls asleep when he starts reading. That made me sad.

    I don't know how we encourage people to give reading a try. Maybe they haven't found what interests them. At least that's my hope anyway. How can someone NOT like reading?!?!?

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  62. To be honest, I hate reading when it comes down to reading books do not keep me interested. On the other hand, I love the books that capture my ADD attention and encourage me to keep going just because I want to know more.more.more.

    The same can be said for the blogs that I read. If you wrote 30 pages a night, you betcha I would be reading it over some other blog if they decided to do the same.

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  63. My first reaction when reading the title of this post, me too!! I honestly get sad over it. Like heart hurt, stomach hurt, head hurt... how can someone not like to read?? I'm sadden every time someone tells me they don't like to read!

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  64. I love reading. But to be quite honest, as a teacher, I simply cannot find the time to read. By the time I get home from my 10 hour day at school, I'm so mentally drained that I can't get "into" a book like I like to. I get all of my best reading done over summer vacation. I make a list of the books I want to read, and will spend days simply reading. But during the school year? I barely have time to read my favorite blogs :)

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  65. I agree wholeheartedly. I ADORE reading. Like the way I adore breathing? Yep, like that. I cannot ever imagine my parents telling any of my educators that I should NOT HAVE TO READ!! What the...? One of the things that hurts my heart is not only those that don't like reading, but worse that I don't feel like I have enough time to read anymore. So, so sad. Thankfully, all of my friends love to read, and are teaching their own children this art as well. There is some hope for us yet, Bonnie! Keep up the good fight. We need you on the front lines!

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  66. I will proudly declare that I LOVE to read! I have experienced a bit of an internal battle due to having a smart phone, I fill up so much of my "relax" time with uselessly looking at social media and it compromised the time I could spend reading a good book! If it is a battle for me then imagine for those who HATE reading!

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  67. I am SO sad that people don't read these days. I have a Nook, and I STILL go to the library to get REAL books. I graduated with a Bachelors in English, so obviously I adore the written word. {Don't judge my grammatical skills, because I'm sure I'm not as accurate as you. I graduated too long ago and need to brush up.} I hope that reading doesn't become too lost on our society :(

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  68. I LOVE reading! its so great! I don't see why anyone doesn't like to read. its a great escape from reality sometimes and yeah that concerns me that there are educators out there who don't like reading.

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  69. It makes me angry when parents try to get their children out of school work because they don't like it. I don't like my teacher evaluations, can I quit those? No, I can't. Your kids need to put their big kid pants on and do something they don't like.

    As a librarian, I am constantly saddened by how many people say, "I hate to read." But I'm coming to terms with it. My mom, brother, and myself have always been readers. My dad? Not so much. There are some people that will never like to read, and I have to be ok with that. No matter how many people out there LOVE to dance, I don't like it. I just don't think it's fun!

    The hard part is figuring out who legitimately doesn't like to read and who just hasn't experienced a good book!

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  70. I love, love, LOVE to read and am actually a 4th grade teacher, too. I cannot TELL you how often I get notes from parents that say something like "Mitch had soccer practice so he could not complete his homework. Please do not give him any consequences". They are constantly making excuses for the kids, who then feel entitled to do whatever they want in school and out of it. It drives me nuts!

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  71. i love to read.

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  72. What if you read out loud to your class... to help them learn to love reading??

    It is sad isn't it?? But in the times we live in, we don't have as much time to read.....
    I'm going to go home after work and read---I have a great book waiting on my ipad..... after I dash to the hardware store, grocery store, andthen do some chores at home... then I will read......... I will probably just scroll some instagram....
    Man, now I am really sad!!!!

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  73. Sorry, can't help it! I was thinking that the other day after I posted. Ben is always doing it to me, so now I think I have the habit of doing it to others... but you are always posting stuff that elicits such strong opinions! Isn't that a sign of a good blog?? And you did a nice job of rebutting my opinion.

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  74. I LOVE reading ! I have so many books to read at my house !
    mind you I never liked reading lol

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  75. Omg yes! I loveeee to read and I'm instilling that in my boys from a very early age. The written word is SO amazing and it makes me sad to hear that people hate it. :/

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  76. Oh it hurts my heart when people don't like to read. My husband and I were recently reading an article about multiple libraries that no longer have traditional books, only electronic media and it made me so sad. My husband asked if I thought traditional books would one day be hard to find and it felt like complete blasphemy. I hope there will always be people who love books - not an e-reader or audio books (both of which I do love), but real books, the smell, the feels, the typeface, etc. My niece is 9 and consistently gets in trouble for reading when she is supposed to be asleep or cleaning - nothing makes me more proud.
    I realize my comment isn't very cohesive but it just get so worked up over books. The idea that you can get everything you need from movies is just tragic. My siblings and I were just discussing yesterday the fact that there have been a lot of good movie adaptations of books, but they still don't compare to the original book.
    Thanks for pushing your students, faculty, blog readers, etc. to read books.

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  77. I absolutely would have told you that I hated reading in school. The problem is that I don't have a memory for words, I have a memory for stories - which sounds hypocritical, because there are stories you can find in the words - but I can't always understand the words. I hate the fact that there is symbolism and different meanings to things - I always felt like I got the interpretation wrong, or like the fact that I didn't see any symbolism was wrong. I also never liked that there's not a definitive answer. In a science class or a math class you solve something until you find the answer, but in literature you can debate things until the end. There's also a lot of memorization, and my brain never quite figured out how to do that. To this day words aren't my strong point. I couldn't tell you most song lyrics, I definitely can't quote a movie, and after reading something I usually forget it instantaneously. But if you tell me a story (directly, with little to no symbolism) or if you make me feel an emotion, you'll have me hooked. Now that I'm older I've found that I do like reading, I like reading YA novels that take me through having experiences. I like feeling like I'm a part of the book and like I'm finding a family in the pages. If somebody had done that for me in high school, maybe it wouldn't have been as bad.

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  78. I don't know how people don't like to read. There are such great stories out there! And on literally any topic that you could possibly want. Like sports? Millions of sports books. Space aliens? Probably billions of books. Are you a girl in love with a boy who doesn't know you exist? Guess what-- people have been writing that story for centuries. There's nothing I love more than reading, and I have one of the shortest attention spans ever. I can hardly watch a two hour movie without getting bored, but I can read a book for a whole day without moving.

    The saddest part of your post are the TEACHERS that don't read! I'm so glad there are teachers out there like you to help inspire kids to read. Sure, I hated Beowulf and Moby Dick, but I recognize the value in reading them. Hopefully your kids will feel the same way. :)

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  79. I'm just catching up on blogs now, but I love this. I just sent it to my sister in law who teaches middle school. Reading is one of my favorite things and my cousins who are about ten years behind me hated it... now they are 18 and starting to read for fun and finding a new appreciation for it. My nieces are all 5 and under and their parents read to them daily and the one starting Kindergarten would rather read a book than watch a movie - there's hope, but maybe not as much as we'd like.

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  80. Some people will never love to read, and I am sad for them.

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  81. Bonnie. I share your sentiments. I love reading and I cannot understand how some people find it bothersome.

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