I faciliate for a student book club with some of the older students on our campus. It gets kind of stale this time of year. The ones who read a lot have read most of the books. The other ones are getting bored with it. So I had a party with them this week. We went around the room and discussed our favorite book so far and our least favorite (the district librarians make the list, mostly Bluebonnet nominees). Most of them would say this is my favorite-but couldn't tell me why other than it was "good".
I shared with them my Goodreads account, which honestly isn't much. I do track what books I've read and rate them with stars. Sometimes if I feel strongly about a book, I will write a review. Especially if I disagree with a lot of the reviews. For example, I read a book this summer called The Kept-which I do agree isn't for everyone, but many of the reviews commented on how depressing it was. I actually didn't see it as that at all. It was dark and disturbing, but also a tale of survival. I mean if you read the summary, you can tell it's a dark story! Every story, in my humble opinion does not have to have a happy ending.
I showed them how I'm listening to an audiobook right now (I know some people don't actually think that counts as reading, but it gets me through the traffic of my commute, and sometimes the voices they do are even better than the ones I'd do in my head). I'm listening to The Road by Cormac McCarthy. At first I wasn't sure I was going to be able to comprehend the dense language auditorily, but I got the hang of it. I only had 30 minutes left and was dying to find out what happened. To me, that's the sign of a good book. That and characters that stay with you. I read a book years ago called Fall On Your Knees-not my usual fare, an epic story, crossing generations (in other words it was also long). Again, probably not for everyone but the characters in that story haunt me to this day. What a great thing for an author to achieve.
So I told them about The Road and how it was a story about an apocalypse. They said-oh, I know, like zombies? And I said, no there were no zombies. And they said "oh, a people apocalypse"! Now that should be a section in Barnes and Noble! I told them how we the author never really shares with use what happened and that actually made it more interesting to me.
Anyway, my point is that the students should see us reading and discussing books ourselves. It really surprises me how few teachers read! We had an outsider come in to do a training this year and she asked us to discuss the best book we read over the summer and the teachers were like-does People magazine count? I don't necessarily love physically reading books-because I read pretty slowly and so it takes me a while to get to the ending, but I do LOVE having read books and had that experience with the characters. I also enjoy talking about books with others and getting their opinions, even if it's different than mine.
We model reading to the kiddos all the time, I think we should model being readers as well!