I treat not being able to find a good book like an emergency. I want my students to see that it is dangerous. Similar characteristics are noticed when someone might come down with an illness, or is in an extreme situation where survival skills will be tested when there is no enjoyable text to be used for reading. Not having a piece of literature is a hair-raising experience, and should literally be something listed as a biggest fear.
I have not always thought this way. During my first few years of teaching I was just concerned about kids meeting the assignments and grabbing a book “to read” during reading time. Fast forward a few years. Now, as a parent, this is a whole different issue. This is an urgent area of concern. I want this for my children, and therefore, I know other parents are hopeful for the same thing. A significant amount of literature out there has been devoted to showing parents and teachers the importance of students reading for pleasure, and really getting what they are reading. One article mentioned that there is a correlation to how many prison cells built and how many students do not read for enjoyment. Plus, it is such a wonderful and positive way to escape reality, when students nowadays are turning to less desirable forms of escape. I love watching the body language of a reader who is really invested in a book.
I want my students to have a book that they carry around with that they cannot put down. One that goes everywhere with them. Not, just a random one that they pick off the shelf everyday, “just to meet the assignment”.