Pleasure Reading: A Thing of the Past?

By Katie Ash — November 19, 2007 1 min read
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Education Week reporter, and frequent contributor to this blog, Kathleen Kennedy Manzo has an interesting story this morning about today’s students choosing to read less and less in their free time, according to a report released by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Endowment Chairman Dana Gioia attributes the lack of interest in reading in part to the growth and popularity of electronic media, but also to the inability of schools to foster a love of reading in their students, the article says. The decline has serious implications for students’ reading proficiency and comprehension, and also has many civic, social, cultural, and economic consequences, concludes the report.

Personally, I have always loved to read. In college, I spent several hours every Saturday morning combing through thousands of titles at my local thrift store, carting home roughly thirty books each week for less than $4. Although my enthusiasm may be slightly excessive, the idea that fewer and fewer kids experience the joy of curling up with a good book or the satisfaction of finishing a long novel is, to me, very unsettling.

Do you think increasing pressure on reading scores has stifled students’ interest in books? How can teachers and parents help kids find reading enjoyable? What do you think would motivate a student to choose a book over the latest video game or a flashy television show?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.