Reluctance and Reading

boy sitting near radio holding white catalog
Photo by Ba Phi on

I am a reluctant reader….sometimes.

My students are reluctant readers…sometimes.

Unfortunately, some students are labeled RELUCTANT READERS as their primary reading identity and it needs to stop.

In the realm of education, the phrase reluctant reader gets thrown around a lot. I believe there is some truth in this phrase. I also believe that some students have not found the right text to make them into a reader.

I say text purposefully because it isn’t always a book. It could be a blog, a graphic novel, tweets, articles, etc.

Different factors make up our reading identity. Reluctance a small part of a reader’s identity no matter how old you are. I have an inbox of school emails that I am reluctant to read. I can procrastinate for as long as I can but I have adult deadlines. I have put some of this reading in my bullet journal and there are arrows moving certain tasks to the next day for DAYS. Can you relate?

I have to read a 20 page article for a meeting on Thursday. Am I reluctant? YOU BETCHA!

I too am a reluctant reader.

Am I a reluctant reader all the time? Absolutely not. Neither are our students, and we need to stop saying it.

I can be a reluctant reader for book club too – a book I am supposed to like that I am not enjoying as much. Can I appreciate the character development? Yes. Can I talk about it and notice the positives? Yes.

This is not the only factor that gets a bolded capital label for students. Reading level is another issue. These factors are part of the process of how we become a better reader. We need to remember to look at the whole child, not just numbers.

Labels can be helpful and dangerous. I am trying to find the new balance for where I stand.

Most of the time, I would rather be reading. That is part of my identity too.

What are your thoughts?



7 thoughts on “Reluctance and Reading

  1. I’m reluctant to read forms and fine print, but I buckle down and do it because, as you say, adult. I’ve been reluctant to read various books for various reasons. Some of them I’ve read eventually and some of those I was glad I read. Among my children, all have been reluctant to read some things and eager to read others. I believe some students labeled “reluctant” simply have difficulty. They have nothing against taking in entertainment or knowledge by reading, it’s just SO DAMN DIFFICULT for them for one reason or another. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I set aside a time every day, excluding weekends, to read. It may be half hour or an hour. Whatever it is that time is my reading my. I am a habit forming person. After a week or two I’m all in.

    So much of reading is finding a piece of time during the day. Or, if you’re my wife, audio books on the go is the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you. Funny thing is that I’m a librarian. My coworkers say that their mattresses are supported by stacks of books, and they have too many books to “ever read” and that they’re sure they need an intervention because some of them are book addicts. The question, “What are you reading right now?” inevitably comes up and I just don’t read as much as they do. I am reluctant to share because it takes me so LONG to read a book. It can make me feel categorized as reluctant but I’m not. I have so much competing for “reading time” that I honestly wonder if other people live in a time continuum and have extra hours built in?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It takes people the time it takes them to read! Everyone’s pace is different. I have a lot going on too – I try to read in little spaces but that doesn’t always work. I do like reading on my phone when I am in line or waiting. I do seem to retain more when I read a paper book. I do find them so comforting! That is amazing you are a librarian!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.