What Should I Read Next?

Slice of Life2When our students are going to the library or book store, they need to do some self-reflection in order to make good selections. As adults, we have internalized many of these questions and use them to find the perfect book to read. It is important to also let student know that even though we have a process in place to find the right book, it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, we are still disappointed. If we have read several chapters and we are not at all interested, it is okay to abandon a book and start another one!  It is always a good idea to pause during reading workshop to have a readerly discussion and chart the class’s thinking on an anchor chart. Asking them how they choose books to read helps them establish and maintain their reading identity!  Here are some questions we ask ourselves when choosing a book to read:

  • Is it part of a series I have read or someone has read to me?
  • Have I read other books like this?
  • Do I like the subject?
  • Did someone I know as a reader recommend it to me?
  • Is it by an author I like?
  • Have I seen the movie?
  • Is it a new book I am eager to read?
  • Have I viewed book trailers for it on YouTube or somewhere else?
  • Is it a best seller or an award winner?
  • How old is it (copyright)?
  • Am I in the mood for something new?
  • What genre would I like to try?
  • Do I want to try a comic book, a graphic novel, a book of poetry?
  • Am I in the mood for something easy or difficult?
  • If I am choosing something difficult, do I have the time and energy right now to stick with it and work hard?
  • Has anyone else I know read this book?
  • Does the title and back or inside cover make me want to read the book?
  • Am I eager to keep reading after I read the first page?
  • Did I judge the book by its cover before I looked inside the book?
  • Do the length and difficulty of this book fit into my time schedule right now?
  • Is my teacher reading this book as a class read aloud?
  • Is someone else in my class starting to read this book, too?
  • Is it time to return to a favorite and reread it?

11 thoughts on “What Should I Read Next?

  1. It took me until I was in my 60’s to give myself permission to abandon a book. Some books, like War and Peace, I stopped reading, but didn’t fully abandon because I’d keep trying to read it, I think it’s important that we have these kinds of conversations with other readers in our classrooms and with adult readers too. Rereading favorite books is a pleasure for me. I don’t think I ever shared that with my students. Literature doesn’t kiss on the first date!

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  2. I agree, Diane. These conversations are important – how we choose a book to read, if it is okay to abandon a book, should we reread books, should we push ourselves to try a new author or new genre….it takes time to build readers!

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  3. I agree with Diane, it took me the longest time to walk away from a book I didn’t care for. If fact, I still feel like there is something wrong with me if I don’t finish a book. After all, it might really get good in the next chapter. I love your list of questions. I guess subconsciously I ask myself many of these without really being aware of the conversation going on in my head when I am picking out a new book.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an excellent list. I am truly trying to foster independent book selection with my readers but they rely so heavily on me!!! Truthfully it gets exhausting. This is the steeping stone I needed to give them a nudge and gain confidence!

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