I've been spending my Sunday evening perusing blogs, and I really enjoyed Meg Cabot's How to Foster a Hatred of Reading. She describes how she hated certain classics (and still does) because they were forced on her in school. It's quite a funny blog, and yet serious, too. We readers are always looking for ways to get other people to love reading, too.
I can't disagree with Cabot, either. I remember staying up all night reading a novel, and showing up bleary eyed the next morning to school. Then when a teacher assigned a novel to read like Catcher in the Rye I would groan with the rest of the class. It felt horrible to be told, "You have to read this."
I will admit that there are some wonderful books I read and loved because they were assigned to me. Pride and Prejudice was on a reading list in high school, and I devoured the rest of Jane Austen's novels soon afterwards. So how do we encourage kids to read without taking away their freedom of choice? I don't have all the answers, though I think it's somewhere in the sphere of guiding children to libraries and letting them explore. Kind of like giving them a map and letting them discover the treasures on their own.
3 hours ago