I grew up with two parents who loved to read. Almost every weekend was spent in a bookstore acquiring more books. Good books, bad books, science fiction books, horror books, mystery books, young adult books, definitely adult books, reading was always an important part of my life. Many a late afternoon was spent sprawled on the couch or purple unicorn bedspread, eyes dancing across inked words with minds far away conjuring images of places that could only exist if I closed my eyes. I saw a movie every weekend that no one else could see but me. I love to read. My own personal tier of hell consists of being a world devoid of books and writing or something similar to Idiocracy.
With my love of reading and books, I understand that not everyone shares my passion. My parents were instrumental in my literacy and parents are the keystone to whether children grow up liking to read. I designed a simple survey that I gave to three class periods at my school site. All three periods were English 3 CP and a total of 112 students were surveyed anonymously. The survey asked four questions:
- Do your parents read (newspapers, books, etc.)?
- How often do you read on your own (non school books, magazines, social media sites, etc.)?
- What do you read the most (magazines, books, social media sites, etc.)?
- Do you like to read? Why or why not?
91 of the students responded that their parents read in some form. 64 students said they enjoyed reading. The majority of these students said they preferred books and reading material they picked. However, I found issues with the survey. Some students either read the questions wrong or didn’t care enough to answer the question correctly. For example, one student wrote “yes” for question 2. There were a few other anomalies that followed along the same lines. Many students were very vague for the second question and I believe that was my fault for wording the question the way I did. For future surveys, if I ask that question, I’ll have to ask it in a multiple choice format.
One of the common comments that students wrote for why they don’t like to read is that books are boring or that it takes up too much time. These two comments convince me of one thing, the students haven’t found the right book. A book exists for everyone, sometimes it’s difficult to dig through the ones that the person has no interest in.
Overall, I learned quite a bit from the survey, though I will have to rework a few questions for clarity if I decide to use this survey again.