Disturbing Statistics on Reading

I was in the middle of spending a large portion of my life on Pinterest the other day (follow me here), I came across this infographic about reading. Allow me to address each statistic.

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1. I think once people graduate high school they think: YES! NO MORE HOMEWORK!!! Unless they continue onto higher education, this is exactly the case. Who is there to make them read? Even during higher education, there’s no incentive to actually read books when there are saviors like SparkNotes around. Unless you’re an English major like myself, why would you read a book? My significant other is actually proud of the lack of books he has read in his life. How do we prevent this? As a teacher, it is my job to inspire lifelong learning which includes lifelong reading. We need to adapt the curriculum so that our students see reading as fun instead of punishment. I say this as a kid who HATED reading in school because of the assigned material. It was like torture. Why would I willingly torture myself?! I think a great way to help students overcome this struggle is to introduce them to books OUTSIDE of the classroom. Let them free read or pick from a variety of books.

2. Post-college you are forreal home free. You’re “done” with reading for class or any other reason. Eventually you get caught up in life and grown-up business and forget that there is an entire book-verse out there waiting to be read! A great thing my public library does to engage adult readers is a One Book One Community event each year. They select a book for the entire community to read, and the author comes and talks and autographs books. They also host social gatherings to discuss the books. Reading as an adult can be fun! I swear! Pick a book with friends. It doesn’t have to be Dickens. It can be anything. And you can have adult beverages and yummy snacks. It’s a win-win.

3. Why are we not reading books to completion? There can be a lot of reasons. Sometimes a book isn’t interesting, and you just have to move on. Sometimes books are just super long. I love reading, but let’s face it: some books are INCREDIBLY LONG! It can be daunting. If you have problems finishing books, try reading a series of smaller novels. You get to read the same amount of pages and get that Finished Book Feeling. E-readers can be another solution. I’m an e-reader convert because they’re SO convenient. Read them on the bus. Read them on the treadmill. Wherever!

4. I personally can’t understand not walking into a bookstore. The smell. The books. It’s heavenly. BUT the book industry is changing. I remember frequenting a Borders within the last five years, and those don’t even exist anymore! Bookstores are becoming increasingly rare in this day and age (said in an old lady voice). People have e-readers and buy their books online. There just isn’t a market for bookstores to stay open anymore. Hopefully, they never become extinct because there is nothing like perusing a bookstore in real life.

5. I can see that families aren’t buying or reading books anymore. One, books are expensive! I would love to fill my bookshelves with books, but I’m a poor college student. If I can’t buy them, and they’re practically my drug, I can’t imagine people with limited interest spending money on them. With tense economic situations dominating many households, it’s no wonder that books have taken a backseat.

6. I couldn’t agree more. I can honestly say that I have learned about others through reading. It teaches empathy and gives new perspective on lives a reader may never encounter. It’s important that we teach young readers to read so they can become empathetic, educated adults. We must create LIFELONG LEARNERS!

7. This is a pretty incredible statistic. I think that potential readers often shy away from reading because it appears as an obstacle. You have to read SO many pages, and it takes SO much time. If we spend a FRACTION of the time we spend messing around online or watching TV reading, we could be international experts. Sounds very James Bond. If that’s not enough to get you reading, I don’t know what is!

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Rapunzel’s Revenge by Dean Hale, Shannon Hale, and Nathan Hale

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I absolutely loved this book. I was surprised to find it in the juvenile section in the library since it was featured in the YALSA list. It’s also about a fairy tale character so I wasn’t sure if this would be advanced enough for young adults.

I was pleasantly surprised at the level of humor and narration in the story. There was also a lot of violence as Rapunzel used her hair to whip and tie up the bad guys. The authors took a classic story and revamped it for a modern audience and an older reader demographic with great success.

The pictures in it are great because they look like the type that would be found in a young child’s picture book, colorful and cartoony, but also take on a comic book vibe with all of the action in each panel.

What I loved most about this book was how Rapunzel was an Annie Oakley style heroine instead of a damsel in distress. She’s funny and brave. She was a joy to read about.

The only criticism I have is that I found it difficult to read, but I believe that’s just because I’m not used to reading graphic novels. I would absolutely recommend this. AND there’s a sequel: Calamity Jack!

Curriculum Connections/ Caveats: I would suggest this book for a middle school reader, especially a girl. It’s a great transition from juvenile to young adult literature. It’s a more mature Junie B. Jones fun in graphic novel form. I think it’s also important that it features a girl protagonist since many super heroes and graphic novel characters are geared toward males. However, I would also suggest this book to young boys because it’s action packed enough to keep them interested, and it allows them to see a girl in a role that is not often seen.

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