kurt_w wrote:As for kids who aren't into books ... that's an interesting question. If we think that they're missing out on something important (I do), is that a problem? (I think it is.) And if so, can we and should we try to do something about it? (I would say yes and yes.)
I think kids suffer in a few ways from not reading. One reason I wanted to push my nephew to read more is that his spelling was absolutely atrocious, despite being an intelligent kid who got excellent grades in school. I think a lot of kids actually think "ur" and "lol" are words and they struggle to differentiate between internet speak, colloquial speech and proper grammar. People who read books tend to recognize a misspelled word immediately. Even if they aren't sure how to spell the word, they can play around with it until it looks right.
Furthermore, I think that kids who read a lot show more patience, which is bound to be an advantage when they get to college and are forced to read books which don't interest them. With the exception of "Ulysses", I have a habit of slogging through a book that I'm not enjoying, even if I read six other books in the meantime.
How do you get kids to read more? Well, my mother's method probably isn't recommended, especially in the digital age. When I was in third grade, in a fit of rage she tossed our television down the front steps and didn't buy another one until we were all in high school. And you thought librarians were mousy and passive.