Read Across America!

Have you ever heard the terms “Sustained Silent Reading” or “Free Voluntary Reading”? They are both contributions of Dr. Stephen Krashen, author of The Power of Reading, whose extensive studies into language learning for English as a Second Language (ESL) students caused him to draw the conclusion that “Free voluntary reading is the source of most of our vocabulary, our ability to handle complex grammatical construction, our ability to spell well, to write with a good style—much of our knowledge of the world comes from READING.” He discovered that “Students who did sustained silent reading on a daily basis did better on grammar tests than students who took grammar classes.”

The other quote about reading that I love comes from Margaret A. Edwards, regarded by most librarians as the first teen librarian. She said,

“Certainly we get essential information from factual books, but it is experience we need most. If we would live richly, we can expand our lives more by sailing down the Nile with Cleopatra, looking at the cherry trees with Housman, or sweating it out to triumph at long last with Moss Hart than we can by gathering all available information on Egypt, raising cherries, or
writing for the theater.”

—Margaret Edwards,
The Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts

So today, set aside some time. Make a cup of tea (and maybe furnish yourself with a cookie or two), sit in a nice comfy chair, and enjoy reading for however long you can spare from your busy day! What’s better than sinking yourself into STORY for an hour?

Feel free to post what you’re reading! I am currently making my way through Timothy Zahn’s science fiction “Dragonback” series, a great one for reluctant readers (especially boys) in middle and high school.

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