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Thursday, April 8, 2010

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Creating a Reader...

I have stated above, as my very own statement, "Reading has become a dying lifestyle... and I'm glad to be part of it." Visitors have come to me, emailed to me, contacted me in regards of this very statement. You must admit, it is kinda true and it is quite an epidemic during these modern internet times. Books are now competing with the clicking of the keyboard, the zooming of the cellphones, the colors of the silver screen (movies if you have no idea what's that).

Problems in the way
Television, Movies, Cellphones, Malls, Internet are just a few factors that wins over reading. Why? Easy. Because it is easier. Reading takes time, and time is a liability for a fast flowing lifestyle in this world. I mean really, I have friends who rather watch the movies than reading the books they are based on. Students tends to do the same. I mean, hey, special effects, even I'm impress and that means something.

What I'm not impress is hearing how students gives me the "o.o" look when I say, "Darn it, the books were better," Which often follows with, "There's a book a book version?" or "Hey! they create a book out of that movie."

Not that I have something to criticize about the visual media, I love watching, movies and tv series, not to mention I love to play games as well. The availability of the visual versions of books, really  attracts more readers, young and old.

How to create a book loving offspring?
Sorry to say, the earlier the child is expose to loving the art of reading, the better. So, read to your children before they can read. Make sure to get books, in relation to your child's interests. Make sure they are full of wonderful colored picture books.

I can't afford to buy books to read to my children.
That's no excuse. Free books are available anywhere, if you know where to find them. One good free book resource would be the library. With no cost you can actually borrow books home.

Working in a High School, you have no idea, how shocking it is to have more than half of the students, having no absolutely idea where is the closest public library (which not even 5 miles away from the school where I work at). Most of them has no absolute idea, they can go in and borrow books out. I have actually been asked if they have to pay to borrow books out of the school library. *blinks*

There are also free books available online.
For example: 
» Project Gutenberg
   -  Thousands of multi-genre books available for free download here.

Library Book Fines. How to avoid it.
One of the most things, which scares people from using the library are "Book Fines" and as a librarian, it is kinda a pain to actually try to get people to pay. Nowadays I call it, "Donations for new books" box. I have students trying to actually negotiate the due dates with me. Here's a powerful knowledge for students. "You can extend your book on the day your due date." Just come in and request. It's as simple as that. A simple way to avoid getting book fines. Yes, my fellow librarians peers would kill me for this but yeah. (this depends on the individual library's policy.)

Not knowing this simple tip, actually develop a case of "missing books" syndrome. Which of course, leads to other librarian problematic stuff in the background. So, that's about that. Going back to the subject.

How about the older kids? How to get them to read?
These are the kids which have been exposed to the wonderful life of technology fun. So, dive into their interest. They like movie, tv, games, find them the book version. Start with something thin, 40-60 pages books. I have books like Scooby-Doo and Spongebob on the top of my head at the moment. Comics are good too. Throw in the current popular tv series, if you like. My recommendations would be, "Hannah Montana", "Ben 10", "Smallville" "High School Musical", etc. Bottomline, anything from Nick, Disney and Cartoon Network are good starter books for these portion of kids.

Yes it's annoying, but who are we kidding, anything so they would read right?

Boys reads less than girls
Yes, this is absolutely true. I have students being force fed books during library classes and some of them were too busy talking to each other, they fail to notice they have the book upside down to begin with.These are majorly males.

Why is it so? 
It's actually hard to find books (fiction) which directs fully to the boys when they are young these days. Hey, let's face it, we were lucky we use to have Sherlock Holmes, The Hardy Boys, Choose your own adventures.. etc etc etc. And boys actually enjoy those kinds of books. Nowadays... books has to compete, and it is harder to compete with video games, tv, and movies. Non-Fiction are are like comfortable nest for boys, I guess, they don't want to be caught with "Girl Books" in their hands.

This one is a tough one cause you need to really pry in their interest. Look through the recommendations from book sites, reading sites, blogs. Yes kinda hard work. At least, they know they have options of something to read. Look for some adventures and mysteries in their reading diet. With this sort of boys, book covers are very important. A grabbing book cover can really make a difference.

Ok... Time to go. Next week, I like to blog on "How to read a book?" Yes it sounds stupid, but it will be a good entry.
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