This article was posted to the School Library Journal blog on Monday.
Here's an excerpt.
Who reads? Well, mostly women. Moms frequently read to their young sons at bedtime. Elementary school teachers and media specialists, who are primarily women, read to their classes. And in movies and on TV, it’s women or girls who are typically rushing off to their book clubs. Men don’t read—instead, they do. For instance, men don’t read books about hunting, they hunt. They don’t devour novels about race-car driving; they go to drag races—and often take along their sons. For many boys, reading becomes a chore that prevents them from pursuing manly things, like playing sports, fishing, rock climbing, and, later, chasing girls. Testosterone keeps guys running and gunning, and if they don’t see members of their own tribe reading—trust me—they won’t deem it important.. . .Now, this is purely my opinion, but children copy their elders. They want to be what they see. A boy doesn’t want to be a woman. He wants to do what a man does. And if he doesn’t see a man reading, he won’t read.
I have tons of school work to do this week, but folks seem to be writing things I just can't ignore. Why do we give boys so little credit? Why the gross generalizations? While reading role models (teachers, parents, relatives, friends, etc.) are important, they can't possibly be the most important factor in what makes a reader and keeps one reading. Or can they? What do you think makes a reader? Are role models really the most important factor at play here?
As you're pondering this question, watch this video about reading.
P.S. - A little personal history, not that my experience should be the basis for the argument I am formulating, but my father was a reader AND a doer. My mother never read until recently (and she's nearly 80).