March is National Reading Month, which typically is used to encourage readers across the ages to read every day. Reading more sounds like a great idea in practice, but I often struggle to fit in time to sit down and read a book.
Yet, we discuss in many of my English and education classes that reading happens all the time even when you are not consciously thinking about it. If you are feeling like you’re already falling behind during reading month, here is a little encouragement for you.
Reading Menus- This is something I take for granted that I am able to read the menu when I go to a restaurant. If you were unable to read, this would be a difficult place to go to. There typically are no pictures on the menu. Even being able to read a menu, I often look ahead of time so I have a better idea of what I want when I get there. In my literacy in the content area class, we watched a video from Proliteracy called “Mom shares her secret after 40 years: Effects of Illiteracy” about a woman who struggled with reading and she got whatever the waiter recommended at a restaurant.
Magazines, Comics, Newspapers- I love seeing who or what made it onto the cover of magazines in the checkout line at the grocery store. The comic strips and the opinion line are also commonly read at my home. Additionally, reading magazines in waiting areas at doctors’ offices is also popular. These types of reading pop up and are often done in short spurts, but they are still reading.
Manuals- I always joke with my dad and two brothers that I “don’t speak car.” They are able to open a manual or read instructions and fix most things. Even using instructions to assemble various kits engages with literacy skills. Whether it is reading instructions to install a car part or assembling a kit of some sort, this type of reading comprehension impresses me.
Traveling- Remembering the meaning behind all of the road signs worried me when I first went to take my driving test at 16. Driving and traveling from place to place requires a lot of close reading of signs that indicate the road conditions or the towns nearby. As a passenger on road trips, I would also read things like license plates or play games that involved findings signs with specific words on them.
Social Media and Games- Most people use various social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more that promote reading. This often is a mixture of pictures and captions, but scrolling through feeds requires reading captions, tags, or locations. Popular games also require reading or skills with words. A lot of college students have been doing Wordle and board games also promote reading and literacy skills.
Chances are you are reading throughout your everyday life maybe without even consciously realizing it. Hopefully, you are finding time to read a few books this March, but no matter what reading is all around you!