Pros and Cons of Required Reading// Bloggers in the Attic

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*teacher voice*

Hello and welcome to today’s post on required reading in school. I hope you’ve all been having a FAB week and are ready to get your discussion caps on*!Image result for funky hat gif

*like a thinking cap geddit?! *sniggers*

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discussionchaintr

I’m doing this as part of an AMAZING discussion chain called ‘The Bloggers in the Attic’ (how awesome is that name?) hosted by Cam from Reader in the Attic! A discussion chain is basically where we choose a certain topic to discuss as a group and give our own thoughts and takes on it! Here are links to the posts that have come before mine and the blogs that are posting after me! Be sure to check them out as they are really interesting!

2nd –  Cam @Reader in the Attic

4th –  Kal @Reader Voracious

6th – Lara @Naija Book Bae

8th – Isabelle @Bookwyrm Bites

10th – Sam @Fictionally Sam

12th – Dany @Dany’s Book Blog

14th – Ben @Ben’s Reads

16th – ME!

18th – Clo @Book Dragons

20th – Lauren @Northern Plunder

22nd   – Nora @Papertea and Bookflower

24th Lili @Lili Star Reads

My post is going to be a Pros/Cons of Required Reading! This may not be completely relatable to everyone as they mainly reflect my own experiences as a student in the UK. I’d love to hear about your experiences though so share them in the comments below!

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Pros: Required Reading

  • Helps you to read outside of your comfort zone

Life can be pretty nice in the ‘stick to certain genres’ bubble. You don’t go outside your comfort zone and just stick to the books you like (or can rant about passionately even if you end up hating them) but NO MORE. Required reading gives you opportunities to explore genres you might not have normally whether that be historical fiction, non-fiction, poetry or fantasy. They are normally a good starting point in a certain genre as they are normally pretty famous (for a good reason hopefully). You may end up loving the book you try still waiting for this to happen hah … or you might hate it but at least you tried, right? That definitely deserves a pat on the back and some chocolate at the least!Related image

  • You get guidance in class to understand complicated books

Books outside your comfort zone are normally quite hard to understand and this is one of the reasons why you might not read a variety of books. Required reading is helpful as you can get guidance from teachers/friends to help you work out what’s going on and also gain a deeper understanding of a book. This might also increase the chance of you liking a book because you can spot connections and hidden Easter eggs!

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  • Gives you the experience of reading as a group

This might not be the same for everyone but whenever we have required reading, we do a part of it in class with everybody reading out a bit of the extract. It is a different experience and can be really fun! It can be really annoying especially when someone reads too quietly or something but its still fun! You get the opportunity to discuss whatever you read with other people and tbh that is just super fun!

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Cons: Required Reading

  • Lack of time

We are all pretty busy dragons. I myself have to do many difficult things in a day:

  • STUDY (eww i know)
  • Protect precious booklings
  • Plot world domination
  • Hoard treasure
  • BLOG
  • Practice scaring away intrusive humans
  • Conquer the dangerous TBR
  • Run away from falling books (they hurt i’m not kidding)
  • EAT CAKE

As you can see, I OBVIOUSLY have no time at all due to my v.v.v. important activities. And this is without all the homework and sport and extra stuff I have to do so when am I going to fit all that required reading in? In my experience required reading is normally not that long (eg. ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘A Christmas Carol’ etc) but they often need a lot of analysing and brain power to understand… and i have like none.

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Me when it comes to required reading
  • Lack of interest

If we’re being completely honest, when I’m told to do something, my interest in doing it literally disappears. Reading is normally so much fun but when it’s required, I’m a lot more likely to get distracted and have negative views towards it. Students are being forced to read things they don’t enjoy and this can end up with them disliking ALL reading which is quite sad. Life is pretty short so why would you want to spend time on something you’re not interested in or enjoy?

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  • Outdated books

Required Reading normally consists of classics (at least in the U.K) which have been written a long time ago. This means that the topics covered in the book just aren’t relevant any more aka no one actually cares. They are hard to understand because of the way they have been written (Old English with ancient terms we’ve never even heard of before).  Chances are, you’re probably not going to have to work out what brabble* means and even if you do, the internet exists for a reason. Classics can often be racist and homophobic so is it really worth teaching kids about them?

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Goodbye required reading

*’to argue loudly about silly things’ if you were interested

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In my opinion, required reading is important because it gives you the chance to read books you wouldn’t normally have picked up! However, we should start to have more modern and diverse required reading which actually reflect the modern day society!

Chat With Me

CHAT WITH ME! What do you think? Do you have required reading in your country? Any books you wish were required reading? What do you like about required reading? Favourite book you were forced had to read? DIVULGE YOUR SECRETS…

Hugs!

Kerys xx

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14 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Required Reading// Bloggers in the Attic

  1. Kerys I love the way that you approached this topic with a pro and con list!!! I totally agree with you on the pros, and honestly I hadn’t thought about how nice it is to be able to be guided with complicated books before. Even so, I do think that some of the books went a bit over my head and might have been better appreciated on a slightly older age group.

    My biggest contention with required reading is honestly the books often being so outdated! Especially when they have racist, sexist, and other problematic themes that aren’t challenged. The continual pushing of these “literary works of import” in spite of these issues, when we have other books without problematic things, likely contributes to the perpetuating stereotypes and discrimination.

    Great post!

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  2. Ugh I’ve read Of Mice and Men, Macbeth and A Christmas Carol *yawns and throws them in the ocean* I really did not like any of them, I’ve also read a few others. I had to study Macbeth and A Christmas Carol though for my freaking GCSE’s….2 YEARS KERYS OF BOREDOM add in Lord of the Flies and I wanted to sob myself into a fiction world xD

    I actually found it frustrating reading with the class, no matter which year I was in, I got bored quickly. Mostly because they were going really slowly for me, and when we went round the class each reading aloud I was so done. Mostly due to my classmates not being able to read fluently, and stumbling over “simple” words. (We’re talking Private Peaceful here in this case, Old English I get…Modern English not so much >.>)

    Private Peaceful was my favourite book I was forced to read though, the rest I could gladly throw in a vault, lock it and toss the key down a river. Loved this post Kerys, particularly as you approached it from a pros and cons perspective.

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  3. I have such mixed feelings about required reading, since I’ve read some really incredible books that I might not have picked up otherwise because they were required for school. But at the same time, SO MANY of the books that are required are just….so dull and so old. And especially when required for younger people, that can discourage people from discovering a love of reading! I think it’s important to include a mix of newer books that are more relevant to students as well as some of the older “classics” that are often required.

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  4. Your post was so much fun to read! I love following this discussion chain and getting to see everyone’s different perspectives on the topic of required reading.

    I really enjoyed how you broke it down into pros & cons. One of the biggest pros to me of majoring in English in college was getting to read something in a group – honestly it’s one of the things I miss most about college (and possibly a big part of why I’m going back for grad school…oops). But I also got a lot more out of required books because of having that professor there to help guide us through a difficult aspect of a text, or to provide historical context. Sure, we can do that research on our own if we’re super ambitious, but like you said, who has time for that?

    I also completely agree with what you said about these required books being outdated and often problematic in their treatment of marginalized folks. Whenever I read classics now, I try to separate the problematic content from my historical understanding of the culture, but the fact that I am able to do that shows my white privilege – the content doesn’t harm me specifically. I can’t imagine being part of a marginalized group and having to read a bunch of books where people like you are treated like non-people. Which is unfortunately what a lot of students of color encounter in literature classes, and something I think we should fix.

    Sorry for the super long comment – I guess I had a lot of thoughts 🙂

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