Here’s a sobering 2015 statistic about students’ independent reading habits.
I recently pulled the following books from a classroom bookshelf ….no words!!!
So how do we get students to read more?
- Provide books they want to read: do interests and attitude surveys regularly. Teens have very broad interests — they may not be interested in reading the trending YA books such as the Hunger Games, Harry Potter etc., nor even be interested in reading fiction. They need to be provided with a range of fiction and non-fiction.
- Book publishers and book retailers spend large sums of money on marketing, cover art and showroom displays — borrow some of those ideas for your classrooms and libraries. Take a stroll through Chapters and check out the displays.
- Allow time in class for independent reading of self-selected books/ magazines and time for discussion about books
- Less is more, so get rid of old books that no-one wants to read (it doesn’t matter if they are in great condition). Old Robert Ludlum or Sydney Sheldon, books from the last century picked up at garage sales or thrift stores need to be tossed in the bin.
Which is more appealing?
Visual Merchandising – 4 principles
- Keep it simple and make the right first impression (create interesting book displays that change regularly)
- Less is more (weed, weed, weed )
- If you can’t see it, it won’t sell (book covers should face out)
- De-clutter and organize (make it easy for students to take books off the shelf or display)You can also get ideas for improving your book displays from books on Visual Merchandising. The Toronto public library has a number of books available: http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp N=&No=10&Ntt=visual+merchandisingAlso check out Youtube videos on visual merchandising for book sellers. Here’s an example:
Example of Reading Interests Survey from CASI:
I turned my books cover out and voila, the interest has surged! Now they all want to read 13 Reasons Why, and being an open-minded person, I won’t give them 13 Reasons Why Not as it is one of my least favourite books of the decade. But I know I am in the minority….now that the books are turned out, they are talking about them, recalling favourites (Diary of a Part-Time Indian) and suggesting to others (“You have to read Speak”). All that literary activity and I didn’t have to say a word 🙂
Chris L. (English teacher) shared:
…I did a 1-minute “merchandising” and got 3 new books selected and a genuine exclamation of …”Oh WOW” from one of the students. Check out how easy it is in the attachment.
Check out this post: How to Build a Better Library
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