The Types of Summer Readers
Ah, summer reading. You know, that big assignment that looms over every Edgemont student throughout the summer? For the bookworms, summer reading is great! However, conquering a mountain of pages is an arduous task for reluctant readers, who would much rather go hang out, play video games, or practice sports.
Join me as I break down the six different types of readers and how they complete, or maybe don’t complete, their summer reading.
The Typical Summer Reader
These students do everything they are required to do and not a thing more. They actually read the book, answer the questions, and do what they are asked, which could be something like paying attention to themes in the book. When assigned to take note of character development, they just list the major times a dynamic character grew or changed. Their notes are usually on one to two pages of loose-leaf paper or consist of some Post-it notes on pages of their book. These students just finish the assignment, nothing less and nothing more.
These students usually don’t start reading until the week before school. They justify their behavior through such lines as, “I don’t want to have forgotten what the book was about by the time school starts'' or “I’m going to do it toward the end of summer to help me get into a good working mindset for school.” When they finally start the assignment, most procrastinators put their heads down and get the job done: reading the book, taking notes (on good days), and doing what’s needed. However, not all procrastinators can pull through – eventually, the time pressure will get to them – so they choose completion above all else. Be skeptical of any notes these students take, as a common maneuver they use is putting blank Post-it notes as decoys to make it seem like they took notes about their book.
The Absent Minded
Simply put, absentminded students forgot (or chose to forget) about their summer reading. On the last day of break, they suddenly realize their mistake. Entering panic mode, these students google how to read a book fast, and approximately ten to fifteen minutes later, resort to their beloved SparkNotes.
“I Read the Book”
They may have “read” the book, but they didn’t really read it. They barely followed the plot and misunderstood the book’s whole premise. They give generic answers for reading checks, analyses, or opinion questions. When asked about the main character, they may say something like, “Oh, him… Um… I thought he was a very smart and well-written character.” The excuse that (never) fails them is, “I read the book at the very start of summer, so obviously I’m gonna forget it.” In group projects, they either don’t contribute or do so with well thought-out ideas (that may or may not be from SparkNotes).
The Good Student
These students do a good job with their summer reading (in accordance with the name). They put a lot of care, effort, and thought into the assignment. They take their time reading and write down meaningful thoughts and details important to the plot. They read between the lines, noticing motifs and underlying messages from the author. When assigned to take note of character development in the book, they take note of every significant time a character changes and explain how it develops the character and contributes to the story. Their answers sound sophisticated and insightful. Good students are resolute, and I wish I could say the same about the next type of reader…
I guess we should wrap up this article with debatably the most annoying type of summer reader. Last, and definitely least, is the pretentious student. Let’s be honest, we all know that one kid who has a Post-it note filled with details on every single page of their book. The notes are colored, with each color having a different meaning, and you can find a piece of paper at the end of every chapter with an entire analysis of that chapter. Their analyses are admittedly flawless. They don’t just take notes on character development bur, rather write essays about it. They are pretentious (hence the name) and are most definitely doing it to impress people and get attention.
As the school year progresses, I wish you the best of luck with all your English reading endeavors (if you end up really reading the books). Which approach will you take for those assignments though?