Recommended Books on Reading for Pleasure

The Power of Reading, Second Edition: Insights from the Research (2004)

Amazon Listmania List of Books on: The Power of Reading

Reading Matters: What the Research Reveals About Reading, Libraries, and Community (2005)

Naked Reading: Uncovering What Tweens Need to Become Lifelong Readers (2006)

How to Get Your Child to Love Reading: For Ravenous and Reluctant Readers Alike (2003)

The Read-Aloud Handbook: Sixth Edition (2006)

Hey! Listen to This: Stories to Read Aloud (1992)

Read All About It!: Great Read-Aloud Stories, Poems, and Newspaper Pieces for Preteens and Teens (1993)

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children (2006) - Story of Room to Read Founder

Recommended Books on Television

The Elephant in the Living Room: Make Television Work for Your Kids (2006)

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1986)

The Plug-In Drug : Television, Computers, and Family Life (2002)

Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think And What We Can Do About It (1999)

Excerpt from "Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think And What We Can Do About It "

Reading & Psychology

Bibliotherapy - "Bibliotherapy is using books to heal, advise, teach, and comfort."

Want to Live Longer? Be Wealthier? And Happier? Here is the One PROVEN Secret: Reading!

Those Who Read Fiction Better at Reading People

"Socially awkward? Hit the books" -  The Globe and Mail (July 2008)

Reading For Pleasure

The therapeutic value of blogging becomes a focus of study

"... when it comes to preventing depression in teenagers, a self-help book might actually be more effective."

What Would Jane Do? How a 19th-century spinster serves as a moral compass in today's world

Reading 'can help reduce stress'

"By imagining many possible worlds, argues novelist and psychologist Keith Oat­ley, fiction helps us understand ourselves and others." - Sharp Brains (Sept 2009)

"How did the owner of a hair salon and book store in Jefferson, Texas launch the largest book club in the world, with an estimated 3,000 members and hundreds of chapters nationwide? Kathy Louise Patrick, founder of the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs explains how books saved her life and her mission to pay it forward" - Psychology Today (Feb 2011)

"Watching poorly executed movies with Snyder’s formula in mind can become a tiresome and repetitive slog. How many times can you watch a young man struggle with his problems, gain new power, then save the world? It’s enough to make you wonder: Is overreliance on Snyder’s story formula killing movies?

If so, then all is lost. The major studios increasingly rely on a small number of megabudget blockbusters for their profits. But big budgets mean big risks. And the only way to mitigate those risks is to stick with what’s been known to work before. In other words, formula—and the more precise the formula, the better. America’s greatest art form is headed straight, as the Snyderized Star Trek sequel notes, Into Darkness." - Slate (July 2013)

Reading, Writing & Critical Thinking

"Students who majored in the traditional liberal arts — including the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and mathematics — showed significantly greater gains over time than other students in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills."

"Students majoring in business, education, social work and communications showed the least gains in learning. However, the authors note that their findings don’t preclude the possibility that such students “are developing subject-specific or occupationally relevant skills.”"

"Greater gains in liberal arts subjects are at least partly the result of faculty requiring higher levels of reading and writing, as well as students spending more time studying, the study’s authors found. Students who took courses heavy on both reading (more than 40 pages a week) and writing (more than 20 pages in a semester) showed higher rates of learning."" - Outside the Beltway (Jan 2011)  and  McClatchyDC (Jan 2011)

"Writing Assignments Boost Critical Thinking Skills for Landscape Design Students" - Science Daily (April 2011)

Non-Profits Promoting Reading for Pleasure

The Children's Reading Foundation "Read with a child. It's the most important 20 minutes of your day"

HELPS - Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies "Dedicated to making kids readers for life"

James Patterson's Read Kiddo Read "Dedicated to making kids readers for life"

Bookends: "BookEnds, a nonprofit organization based in Southern California, is about Kids Helping Kids. BookEnds' recycles children's books through student-run book drives and places them in schools and youth organizations in need of books." (California)

Book-it! "...motivates children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition and pizza.  BOOK IT! is simple for the teacher to use, flexible because goals match reading ability, and fun because achieving a goal is a great reason to celebrate.  A literacy activity that parents can participate in, BOOK IT! was created in 1985 and has since grown to 22 million students strong." (U.S.A.)

Bookstart: "Bookstart aims to promote a lifelong love of books and is based on the principle that every child in the UK should enjoy and benefit from books from as early an age as possible." (United Kingdom)

booktrust "Booktrust is an independent national charity that encourages people of all ages and cultures to discover and enjoy reading. The reader is at the heart of everything we do" (United Kingdom)

First Book: "First Book is a nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. We provide an ongoing supply of new books to children participating in community-based mentoring, tutoring, and family literacy programs." (U.S.A.)

Get London Reading "All over London companies and organisations are joining together to Get London Reading!" (London, England)

National Literacy Trust "...founded in 1993, is an independent charity dedicated to building a literate nation." (United Kingdom)

Raising A Reader: "The Raising A Reader mission is to foster healthy brain development, parent-child bonding and early literacy skills critical for school success by engaging parents in a routine of daily “book cuddling” with their children from birth to age five... Each week, bright red book bags filled with beautiful picture books are rotated into homes. The book bag and its contents quickly become a child's favorite toy. The result is an irresistible request: “Please read to me!”  (U.S.A.)

Read a Million Words "Read a Million Words is an initiative supported by Bristol City Council that aims to challenge children and young people to read a million words in a year (either individually or in a group), and to encourage children to read more for pleasure." (Bristol, England)

Oakland Parents Literacy Project "The Oakland Parents Literacy Project hosts more than 50 events each year, reaching nearly 10,000 students and parents. The program gave away 8,000 free books last year alone." (U.S.A.)

Reading Is Fundamental "prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. Founded in 1966, RIF is the oldest and largest children's and family nonprofit literacy organization in the United States. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy resources each year." (U.S.A.)

Room to Read "The first step towards the lifelong gift of education is putting a book in the hands of a child. Room to Read seeks to facilitate this by establishing a library in every new primary and secondary school we build, as well as in many existing schools, through our Reading Room Program." Book by Room to Read Founder (International)

International Book Project "IBP has a unique history of having supplied millions of books worldwide since its beginnings in the basement of Mrs. Van Meter's home." (International)

The Literacy Site "The Literacy Site was founded to help promote literacy among children from low-income families nationwide. Partnering with First Book, the site makes books available to children around the country, giving many children their very first book. With the generous support of our sponsors, each click provides 1% of a book. Making books a part of a child's life is the best way to encourage the love of reading. " (U.S.A.)

Exercise The Right To Read "Our Mission: to raise funds to provide books for school libraries and disadvantaged children" through running (U.S.A.)

Reach Out and Read "Reach Out and Read is a national, non-profit organization that promotes early literacy by making books a routine part of pediatric care."  (U.S.A.)

Prison Literature Project  "The Prisoners Literature Project is a grassroots organization that sends free books to prisoners in the United States."

Non-Profits Promoting Educational TV "Created by Cable, offered as a public Service" (U.S.A.)

PBS "With your support, PBS programs and education services enrich the lives of all Americans." (U.S.A.) Note: Study Finds Lack of Balance, Diversity, Public at PBS NewsHour -

PBS imported Teletubbies from the BBC last year and is aggressively marketing the program as educational for "children as young as one." - The American Prospect (May 1999)

Planet Read "Same Language Subtitling (SLS) is a simple yet powerful idea by which lyrics are added as subtitles to film songs on TV programs. Words are highlighted in perfect timing as they are sung. This association of the spoken and written word is a proven method to improve reading skills." (India) Article about Planet Read

Sesame Workshop "Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit organization of writers, artists, researchers, and educators. Best known for Sesame Street, we create educational content for children from birth through age 12, delivered through a variety of media including television, radio, the Internet, film, home video, books, magazines, and community outreach." (International) Note: Experts Rip 'Sesame' TV Aimed at Tiniest Tots

Smart Television Alliance "TiVo is proud to support the Smart Television Alliance."

Assorted Links on Reading

"Reading at Home Students are reading books, newspapers, and magazines a bit less in 1990 than in 1984, and they do less reading for fun as they grow older. They spend 12 times as much time watching television as they do outside reading, and the quantity of reading is associated with achievement. The amount students read per day varies considerably among the states. Thirteen-year-olds in the U.S. do less reading for fun than their peers in 11 other countries studied in 1991."  - (1992)

Trelease on Reading

Jim Trelease Talk: My Notes

Children of the Code  "More than any other subject or skill,

our children’s futures are all but determined by how well they learn to read."

Reading and Your Child

Kids Who Read Succeed

"5 Benefits of Reading" - Impact Publishing

"Reading Versus Watching Television With Your Tots" - Teaching Tiny Tots

"When Mrs. Carson saw Benjamin's failing grades, she determined to turn her sons' lives around. She sharply limited the boys' television watching and refused to let them outside to play until they had finished their homework each day. She required them to read two library books a week and to give her written reports on their reading even though, with her own poor education, she could barely read what they had written." - Academy of Achievement

Fiction appears to stimulate something in your brain that improves `social intelligence'

"Case in point, a few years ago, neuroscientist Karen James found that preschool children who took part in a one-month long reading program where they practiced printing words improved more in their letter recognition than kids who did the same reading program but practiced naming (rather than writing) the words instead. Letter recognition isn’t enhanced as much by reading letters as it is by printing them." - Psychology Today (April 2013)

"Reading: Forth Grade. What proportions of student groups are reaching Proficient?" - The Nation's Report Card (2013)

"Nearly three-quarters of the eighth- and 12th-graders failed to achieve proficiency on a national writing test, according to a U.S. government report released Friday. For the first time, the exam let students use a computer." - Houston Chronicle (Sept 2012)

"Free-Reading is an “open source” instructional program that helps teachers teach early reading. Because it's open source, it represents the collective wisdom of a wide community of teachers and researchers. It's designed to contain a scope and sequence of activities that can support and supplement a typical “core” or “basal” program."  - 

"Obviously many people attend college who wouldn’t go in an earlier age. However, if you talk to college professors who have worked at the same institutions teaching the same type of students for more than 20 years, you will find they are almost unanimous in the observation that there has been a significant downturn in literacy, writing ability and attention span. Institutions that were selective in the past, and still are selective, cannot get by today without writing centers where students receive assistance with reading and writing. One reason why the SAT writing test was inaugurated was the sense of a widespread crisis in writing and thinking abilities."  -  The Thinking Housewife (Feb 2010)

"The report concluded that 57 percent of those who had proficient reading skills had performed volunteer work, compared with 18 percent of the people with poor skills. It also found that the better a person's reading skills, the more likely that person voted in the 2000 election. The Education Department study showed 84 percent of proficient readers voted, compared with 62 percent of those with basic skills and 53 percent of those with poor skills. " - Bloomberg (Nov 2007)  and (Nov 2007)

"Educator and author Gloria DeGaetano shares a revealing insight from a second grade teacher at one of her workshops. The teacher said that on the first day of class, when she began reading the children a story, one boy, Tommy, started fidgeting anxiously. Looking up, he asked what he should be doing. "Just listen to the story," she answered. He looked at her blankly. She tried reassuring him, but he grew visibly more anxious. Finally, she asked Tommy to focus on his imagination, on the pictures he saw when she read aloud. But he shook his head sadly. He didn't see any pictures at all." - Psychology Today (Jan 2012) 

"No matter what, every family should set aside at least an hour every evening for family reading. There are many advantages to this. One of them certainly is that reading to or with your kids helps them develop better reading skills, comprehension levels, and an interest in things beside TV and movies. The other important aspect of family reading time is that it gives you all a chance to sit down as a family and spend time together. With one or both parents working to make ends meet, children can at times feel neglected, thinking that your job is more important than they are."  -  Teaching Tiny Tots

"The 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books and Why 3 in 4 People Are Being Shut Out of Success" - Persistence Unlimited (Dec 2007) - Reading Quotes

Reading and prison libraries

Is reading a good thing?

8 Ways Reading Makes You Better at Life

For Obama and past presidents, the books they read shape policies and perceptions

The 26 Major Advantages to Reading More Books and Why 3 in 4 People Are Being Shut Out of Success

The surprising ways that metaphors shape your world

The Impact of Television & Video Entertainment on Student Achievement in Reading and Writing

The Children's Literature Web Guide

Reading for Pleasure

"I share this story because Mom developed a lifelong habit of reading non-fiction because she wanted to impress her in-laws and other people who intimidated her. In the end, her habit saved my dad’s life."

Cartoonists Across America & The World

Death of Reading


It's Not Just for Oprah Anymore: Starting a Book Club for Kids

Reading for Pleasure, a Guardian seminar held on March 3 2006 in the Guardian Newsroom

Literary Reading in Dramatic Decline, According to National Endowment for the Arts Survey (2004)

What Is Sustained Silent Reading (SSR)?

Free Voluntary Reading (FVR)?Pays? Big Dividends!

Free Voluntary reading: New Research, Applications, and Controversies

Value of Reading Engagement for Children

The Matthew Effects

Hooked on Books -

"More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level"

Library Quotes

More on the National Reading Panel (NRP) Report  -  Stephen Krashen   Yet more on the NRP Report - Jim Trelease

Texting Associated with Superior Reading Skills

What Does Make Kids Smarter...

Quotations from Quotations Book

If the riches of the Indies, or the crowns of all the kingdom of Europe, were laid at my feet in exchange for my love of reading, I would spurn them all.

- Francois FeNelon

One always tends to overpraise a long book, because one has got through it.

- Edward M. Forster

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

- P.J. O'Rourke

Medicine for the soul.

- Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes

There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work;

and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs.  

- Henry Ward Beecher

A house without books is like a room without windows.  

- Heinrich Mann

Never lend books, for no one ever returns them;

the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me. 

- Anatole France

To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.

- Victor Hugo

I cannot live without books.

- Thomas Jefferson

Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.

- Mortimer J Adler

Beware of the person of one book.

- St Thomas Aquinas

Reading is not a duty, and has consequently no business to be made disagreeable.

- Augustine Birrell

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

- Joseph Addison

What we become depends on what we read after all the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is the collection of books.

- Thomas Carlyle

Our high respect for a well read person is praise enough for literature.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Read, read, read. Read everything-- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.

- William Faulkner

So many books, so little time.

- Frank Zappa

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.

- Richard McKenna

No one can read with profit that which he cannot learn to read with pleasure.

- Noah Porter

The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them.

- Mark Twain

What we read with inclination makes a much stronger impression. If we read without inclination, half the mind is employed in fixing the attention; so there is but one half to be employed on what we read.

- Samuel Johnson

A room without books is like a body without a soul.

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.

- Benjamin Disraeli