As a librarian in a school setting, I work with all of our children. Some of them love to read, others tolerate it, and some actively dislike it. I know that there are many things that factor into this - reading ability, finding a book of interest, appearing "cool" to peers are just a few. But could part of this be the environment?
When I read, most often I find a quiet, comfortable space to slouch into with my feet up and a cup of coffee or tea by my side. Creature comfort = pleasant reading time.
After check out in my media center, if they're lucky, students can snag one of the spots on my middle-aged (ca. 1974) couches or a padded bench; otherwise they sit at tables, completely upright in wooden chairs (that they may not tip back). Not quite the same experience.
Would I help students enjoy reading more if I created a more relaxed environment in which they could read?
Budget and physical space constraints hinder my creating anything too extravagant, but working with the means available to me, I think I will try to effect some change. I've been hoarding Scholastic Dollars from my book fairs over the years and have amassed a small nest egg. I've ordered some comfy chairs and pre-ordered some beanbag chairs. My reading space is small, but by making the seating flexible and comfortable I hope that I've begun to create an atmosphere more conducive to reading for enjoyment. Time will tell.
Does anyone have ideas on how to create comfortable, inviting reading spaces within limited means? If so, please share them in the comments.