Friday, August 17, 2012

Why do people read on the beach?

I admit that my beach experiences have been limited.  I've yet to visit Cancun or Hawaii; however, I covet days at the beach with a good book and every once in a while, the stars line up and I am able to get to the beach for a few days of R and R (that's reading and relaxation)!

So, when I headed to the beach last week, I went with a stack of books and my Kindle reader. The family members who sat on the chairs next to me when they are not bobbing in waves, were reading, too.  That's no surprise as we stopped at the book sale at their local library on our way out of town.

When I looked up from my book, I noticed that may other people were reading too. 

                                Younger people, older people,
Men, women,
Kindles, Nooks,
Hard cover, paperback,
Informational, fiction,
Best seller, beach trash,
Books were everywhere
The action researcher inside of me, came out of hiding and I began thinking:
                      Why do people read at the beach?
I had a few hypotheses! 
           Perhaps, it is the warmth of the sun that makes them slow down and read? 
           Perhaps, it is the lull of the waves that makes them slow down and read?

At first, I saw the possibility for research to answer this question with the hope that it might shed light on how we could help reluctant readers WANT to read!  Quickly, I came to my senses as I realized:
                                     Very few 10-15 year old boys were reading;
                                             They were catching waves. 
                                     Very few 10-15 year old girls were reading;
                                             They were catching waves.
                                       Not one 5-10 year old was reading; 
                                        They were digging in the sand,
                                             Playing in the waves,
                                    Parents of toddlers were not reading;
                                      Unless their offspring were asleep.
So, after careful observation and reflection, I have decided that the one great benefit from having adult children at the beach with you is that you don't have to wait for them to be asleep in order to read!

I am still wondering if there just MIGHT be SOME BENEFIT from adding a heat lamp, some beach chairs, and a sound track from the ocean to classrooms?  Perhaps THAT is the action research we need!   
                 Random people reading. 

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