Here is a chart of some recent findings from the Pew Research Council on adults and reading:
I think there is a correlation here. More and more adults are NOT reading because reading has become something you do to pass the test. It is not something you do for a pastime.
What has been lovely over the past several days is that Karin Perry and I have been at the University of Southern Mississippi Children's Book Festival. We are hanging out with authors, illustrators, librarians, and teachers. We all share a passionate love of books and reading and kids. Yes, we have mentioned the reality of CCSS and other mandates. But we have also talked about how real books, real reading, real response, real choice can still be present within this structure. Books have been sold and autographed. Sessions have been well attended (packed like sardines, actually). Tweets and posts are flying off the fingers of those in attendance. THIS. This is what keeps me sane, makes me feel as though there are still some folks out there who are not doing things with books and readers that translate into a loss of reading beyond what is required.
So, let's celebrate books by honoring them not dissecting them not assigning them not work sheeting them (is work sheeting a word yet? Seems to me to have possibilities, but I digress). Let's read them, talk to someone else about them, share them with others. As Donalyn Miller says #letmypeopleread.