professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Go Fourth in Virtue!

Quick test to see if you are a lifelong reader. See if this ever describes you. You crack open a book and fall inside the story. Time passes without your being aware. Fire trucks may go past your house; you do not hear that. Sound familiar? If it does, you are a lifelong reader. You also can sink into the stage of UNCONSCIOUS DELIGHT, that time when you are reading and the whole world drops away. This stage comes from the work of Nilsen and Donelson. Here is the graphic of what they, in 1985, called the birthday cake theory of reading development.


I love this graphic and this way of looking at the development of lifelong readers as it says CELEBRATION to me (and, yes, the fact that it is a cake is also appealing). And I recall my early experiences with unconscious delight as well as the myriad of books that allow me to experience it even today. My earliest memory of the real world falling away and of getting lost in a book occurred when I was reading the Nancy Drew mystery series. And serial reading is often associated with unconscious delight. Think of the reader you are and the readers you now. How many of us loved (and still do love) serial reading. Do you read series? Percy Jackson? Harry Potter? Magic Treehouse? Spirit Animals? How about having a favorite author or genre or format? You, too, are a serial reader. And we know adults are serial readers, too. Patterson, Grisham, Koontz, Steele, King: all these authors appear over and over again on the NYT Bestseller list for the more than a decade.

So, let them read serially. In the past, many short-sighted educators called serial reading less-than-literary, labeling these as books kids would read anyway. So, they did not include them in classroom and library collections. It makes my head spin to think anyone would eschew a title because kids would read it anyway. But, in any event, the evidence is that serial reading is important to the care and feeding of readers.

One final note about serial reading. There is research to support that serial readers go on to become lifelong readers: If someone questions your reading or that of your students, point them in this direction.

Here is a lovely sign for you today:

lost in book
Tags: development, lifelong readers, reading, series
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