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The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  403 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Continuing the case for free voluntary reading set out in the book's 1993 first edition, this new, updated, and much-looked-for second edition explores new research done on the topic in the last ten years as well as looking anew at some of the original research reviewed. Krashen also explores research surrounding the role of school and public libraries and the research ind ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 180 pages
Published August 19th 2004 by Libraries Unlimited (first published January 15th 1993)
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MisterBarker Room203
Jun 28, 2009 MisterBarker Room203 rated it liked it
Shelves: pedagogy
Krashen is "The Man."
I don't always agree, but I always THINK more and differently after reading him.
Trisha
Sep 12, 2010 Trisha rated it liked it
Three points stick out to me from this book: 1) Reading is the key to better comprehension, grammar, spelling, writing style, and vocab; 2) Reading is more important to learning how to write well than writing practice is; and 3) light reading is intellectually, academically, and socially viable. While I'm in full agreement and excited about points 1 and 3, point 2 scares me. As a writing instructor, part of my philosophy is that to write well, one should practice writing. I've always believed re ...more
Toni
Mar 08, 2012 Toni rated it really liked it
Some great evidence for why reading is so important. Krashen highlights lots of research showing why free voluntary reading is actually the most effective way to improve reading skills, vocabulary acquisition, and writing style. He also discusses reading incentives and why they don't work.

Krashen is one of the best advocates for librarians in our role as encouraging free choice reading. Loved this book.
Staci
Nov 21, 2008 Staci rated it liked it
I'm moving this book to my "read" list even though I didn't finish it completely. I'm giving it 3 stars only because it wasn't "easy reading"....unless you like to read textbooks with hundreds of cited studies. Krashen definitely did his research! I would say the basic premise is how important reading is, mostly FVR (free voluntary reading), basically reading on your own for pleasure and how FVR is the most effective way to increase literacy. The cited studies show that FVR improves spelling, re ...more
Terry-tvsmarter
Feb 25, 2012 Terry-tvsmarter rated it it was amazing
The book “The Power of Reading, Second Edition: Insights from the Research” by Stephen Krashen absolutely blew me away. I had no idea reading for pleasure was so beneficial.

We know that learning to speak is instinctual for children, that as long as the adults around them talk to them, that language will come naturally.

Reading, on the other hand, is not quite so natural. Children need to be taught the mechanics of sounding out words, and helped along as they learn the basics. But, according to Dr
...more
Jenna
Jan 24, 2013 Jenna rated it liked it
While I didn't really enjoy the style this book was written in, the research citations broke up the text and coincidentally ruined the flow, I did learn a lot of new things about the affects and benefits of reading. My favorite was the studies explaining that reading greatly improves language acquisition for second language learners compared to rote memorization and grammar lessons. I think this kind of knowledge would inspire people who are struggling with a second language to read more.

I am no
...more
Ami
Mar 19, 2011 Ami rated it really liked it
Shelves: homeschooling
Stephen D. Krashen provides a solid argument in favor of self-directed reading in the classroom. Krashen provides numerous studies to back up his claims that children who choose their own books and have ample opportunity to read them during school will see improvements in vocabulary, spelling, grammar, writing, and reading scores.
This research has been here for years. When will parents, educators, administrators, and government officials realize that to improve reading, children need to read? It
...more
Dana
Jul 20, 2010 Dana rated it really liked it
Very good, fast read that summarizes some of the research on reading, especially free voluntary reading (rather than reading instruction). Krashen is a prolific researcher, and often has his own research (or that of his grad students, I would assume) to back up his points. I read the second edition, from 2004, and would like to see it updated further still. The research on comic books and on television viewing all seem dated to me; few studies more recent than 1995 seem to have been cited. Overa ...more
Terry
Nov 26, 2008 Terry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching-english
A must for teachers of Language Arts. Period. I disagree with the reviewer who found this to be text book-like: "TPR" felt like a conversation with a smart and passionate researcher, the sort who can break down big issues into simple concepts. While there is plenty of attention paid to SSR, Krashen also unpacks the importance of access to text as essential to reading efficacy. He tackles Accelerated Reader.

Give this as a gift to any children's or teen librarian you know.
Robin
Mar 05, 2008 Robin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who want to read about reading
Recommended to Robin by: read about it on GNLIB
Well, the specific reason that I requested this title from another library was to read the section on the importance of pleasure reading, specifically the use of comic books to "hook" young people into reading. So I've only read a small section of the book so far but what I've read, I like.

The section on reading comics is as good as I hoped it would be. Krashen has some interesting connections to make for readers and those who are encouraging young people to read.
Jared Reck
May 02, 2012 Jared Reck rated it it was amazing
Krashen's work--especially this book--is consistently cited by Gallagher, Atwell, Schmoker, Alfie Kohn, and others. I thought it was time to read the book they all kept citing--loaded with interesting research studies done over the past century on benefits of free voluntary reading over traditional reading instruction.
Shelli Gheen
May 26, 2013 Shelli Gheen rated it it was amazing
I bought this for my middle school library professional collection after reading it for a class. Though the research citations do detract from the enjoyment of reading it, I can move past them to the heart of the book. I will be pushing for Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) time in our Language Arts classes.
Jamie
Sep 25, 2012 Jamie rated it really liked it
Krashen is the free voluntary reading maverick, and this book lays out the research and makes his case. I like the take-aways in bullets in the margins: good for busy professionals who need research-based talking points.
Pashew Majeed
Nov 12, 2014 Pashew Majeed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had read the second edition as an ebook but after a while ordered for the first edition in paper, which is the current one. It is a very useful resources for literacy educators and language teachers in the realization of the power that recreational reading has.
Jolee
Aug 04, 2011 Jolee rated it really liked it
Yeah, baby -- free voluntary reading !! (aka, FVR!!). (Seriously, tho, required reading for anyone seriously interested in literacy and 'the problem of literacy.' This is an authority -- all the research, succinct, and pointed. For everyone else.....whatever ;-) ).
Jared
Jun 27, 2007 Jared rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers and parents
This book is mind-blowing and I'm only part way through it. I wish my teachers knew about this stuff when I was in school: free voluntary reading is the best thing for growing children into thinking and literate adults.
Ariel
Apr 27, 2009 Ariel rated it really liked it
I also read this for my thesis as an undergrad. It was my first introduction to research on literacy. I'd love to read more books like this.
Laura
Jul 22, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
A great book for anyone wanting to address the literacy problem. I would highly recommend it.
Mendel
May 22, 2007 Mendel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: every teacher and parent
Shelves: forteachers
the case for free voluntary reading- why it is essential to have our students choose what they read.
meg
krashen is pretty much the godfather of reading research. good stuff.
Alyson
Sep 03, 2008 Alyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional
One of my favorite library school books. He dismisses phonics-based curriculum and simply states that a child learns to read by reading.
Kristy
Jun 02, 2012 Kristy rated it it was amazing
This book's research on Free and Voluntary Reading justifies the existence of school libraries and intellectual freedom for children. You're the best, Stephen Krashen.
Lynn
Dec 15, 2010 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-work
Best book I know of for teaching ESOL students. Can't get any better.
Lori
Aug 21, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: professional
Great, readable research!
Barbara Lovejoy
Mar 02, 2011 Barbara Lovejoy rated it it was amazing
I had read the earlier edition of this book years ago and LOVED it. This newer edition is great, too. It is definitely a book that will influence the literacy program at our charter school.
Taylor Troncin
Aug 21, 2013 Taylor Troncin rated it really liked it
Shelves: pre-2016-read
Lots of interesting thoughts/ideas! I have to pick five quotes for the class that I am enrolled in.... How can I only pick five?!
Jill Guccini
Jul 25, 2009 Jill Guccini rated it it was amazing
So I read this for a class and found it amazingly awesome because it backs up everything I want to do with my life.
Miriam
Sep 15, 2012 Miriam rated it really liked it
Excellent and informative!
Ilib4kids
May 16, 2013 Ilib4kids rated it it was ok
028.9 KRA 2004
Research study FVR or more general term: recreational reading.
FVR (Free voluntary reading): no book report, no questions at end of chapter, no look-up every vocabulary. Put down a book you don't like. Free voluntary reading is the foundation of language education. p1

Quote in book p150 "Our problem in language education, as Frank Smith has pointed out, is that we have confused cause and effect . We have assumed that we first master language "skills" and then apply these skills to re
...more
Angela
Apr 06, 2015 Angela rated it it was amazing
An text that makes the results of research very clear. To improve reading, kids must read more. Independent reading means a child gets to choose the text. We need to stop with page number requirements, limiting the genres of acceptability (yes, graphic novels are valuable), and setting all kinds of other parameters (like no "books that are movies" --it's almost impossible to avoid this genre). This only tells kids that we think they're going to cheat and can't pick out their own books. Remember, ...more
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Stephen Krashen is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California, who moved from the linguistics department to the faculty of the School of Education in 1994. He is a linguist, educational researcher, and activist.

Dr. Krashen has published more than 350 papers and books, contributing to the fields of second-language acquisition, bilingual education, and reading. He is credited with i
...more
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