Reading

A mentor of mine paid his kids $1 per every book they read. So I did the same thing, gradually changing the standard for what comprised a ‘book’. When our kids were little, we celebrated picture books. When older, ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ was still….$1

I walked into a publishing house recently and was greeted by a thought-provoking poster, ‘fiction reveals a truth that reality obscures’. I’ve thought long and hard over that quote as I compare both fiction and non-fiction. Perhaps you favor one or the other; perhaps you’re like me and enjoy both. But I suspect we all agree. Reading is essential, both as a passion and a life-skill.

The challenge before us is daunting. We’re working with students who have technological wonders at their fingertips. Immediate gratification. How do books and book-reading stand a chance?

I suspect that my mentor felt the same way when he invoked the $1/book reward. And like him, it’s up to us to creatively get kids into books. Here are a couple of things we’ve tried:

  • Offering students a discount on trips if they read a selected book
  • Using the natural enthusiasm of other students as positive peer pressure
  • Outright cash incentives (I’ll admit it)
  • Using a book as a course of study in small group or on a trip
  • Books on MP3

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