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Monday, 4 October 2021

Required reading in school - yay or nay? And why?

 Growing up in the UK at the time I did, I think I'm at a bit of a disadvantage for this topic from Long and Short Reviews. My school didn't so much have required reading as "this is what you're studying for English lit, like it or lump it." I could live with having to read particular books, but not with the way my school did it.

There is nothing more likely to kick the stuffing out of a good book than being forced to sit in class taking turns to read it out, one paragraph at a time. The number of times I had to sit and listen to the worst reader fumble their way through every word was utterly ridiculous. Why couldn't they just tell us to read it at home? Surely if we didn't bother it would become obvious when we failed the tests?

I can prove this too by "To Kill a Mockingbird". My class didn't do this one (we got "Lord of the Flies" instead) but another class did, and they all utterly hated it. Later on I read the book myself under my own steam and really enjoyed it, probably because I wasn't being made to write essays on why Scout's teacher was a mother figure.

So how do you feel about required reading?


  1. It's been a hot minute since I was in school and can't really remember having to read aloud in class (I'm sure we did some, but like many things about high school, the memories are lost in a wild sea). I think I would probably read ahead and then have to figure out where we were when it was getting close to my time, though. lol

    1. I can't count the number of times I managed to read the same page over and over before it got to me. Drove me up the wall.

  2. My class was assigned “To Kill a Mockingbird,” too, but we read each chapter at home instead of out loud. It must have been awfully dull to read it out loud in class one paragraph at a time!