Most of today's students won't be familiar with the old adage, 'Reading, Writing and
(a)Rithmatic (sic), sometimes referred to as 'the three Rs'. Which is probably for the best, since it is both out of date and a little cringeworthy. Today, I want to focus on reading. In fact, ideally I would do that every day, but sadly there is usually a list of work and life tasks that stand between me and the several silent, content, solitary hours I'd like to spend reading each day.
When I begin a tutoring relationship, I can tell straight away if a student is a reader or not. It comes across in their work, their speech and their interactions with the world. They are better for it in every way. So why is it that some students don't read, even when they are aware of the benefits it would bring?
Reasons might include a lack of interest, time or personal circumstances which steer them towards other activities. Whatever those reasons are, I am certain that there is not only suitable but absolutely ideal reading material out there for any student, no matter how reluctant a bookworm they may be.
There's no point forcing the issue or prescribing books like a doctor. The reader must be motivated; even if they do not develop that quiet, burning desire to immerse themselves in a book that compels them to read at the most inopportune moments, at the very least, they need to be interested.
Even those who have 'no interests' or find books 'boring' have something inside them that makes them tick. It needn't be some grand literary sentiment. It could be a need to escape the everyday, an interest in relationships, or a favourite type of music. These are the avenues that should be explored by those who need a nudge with their reading. By all means, browse social media to find out what's popular and get ideas; there's plenty of inspiration out there. But there's nothing that can beat a good, old fashioned trip to a public library. They are the treasure troves of our communities.