Anecdotal? Perhaps. But in my experience, there is a clear correlation between the three.
It’s not wholly true that students don’t read. Ask a student and they’ll tell you. They read Textbooks, Text Messages, Instagram Posts, Online Sites of Interest, even the occasional Email (though reluctantly – email is pretty old school today!)
But none of us read the way we used to. I don’t exclude myself. Although a voracious reader, I have gone from reading a book or two a week to maybe one every month. I read more online, finding myself losing focus more easily, finding it more difficult to immerse myself in a body of literature…
And yet, when I do get lost in a book, I thoroughly enjoy myself.
I’m experimenting with ways to incorporate more reading into classes. Not necessarily fiction ( though the odd bit of poetry is a surprising hit!), but also a variety of articles for discussion, analysis, and interpretation. Students sometimes struggle with reading for homework, so I’m embedding the analysis into class time.
There’s only so much time. But I suspect the rewards are worth it.