Accelerated Reader Tests, or AR Tests, was the reading program used by my elementary school and middle school to get us reading. We were tested, and based on our reading comprehension in these tests told what books to read that would increase our reading level, and then every month we were expected to take tests on these books and gain points.
The Accelerated Reader Banner
Looking back on this it seems like a very convoluted way to instill a love of reading in students, a love that if it wasn’t there already this system didn’t seem to create. But that is neither here nor there. This is a mild call-out post to Accelerated Reader and the way that it was treated as some insane points based way to turn kids into readers while I was in grade school (2000-2008), and how it never really seemed to succeed in the way that any concerned party wanted them to. Things may have changed in the years since I was subjected to AR. Maybe there is a new program, maybe they’ve decided to actually do away with this way of encouraging kids to read, I mean YA-books are certainly more interesting than they were when I was looking for things to read. So hopefully things have become better? Either way, here is my story of AR Tests and how the system never seemed to work for anyone
My bookshelves when I started, the shelves are double stacked and each drawer is full to bursting with books
Since graduating college I’ve been living in a strange in-between, internships and part-time jobs to afford rent in cheap apartments, living in places for four months at a time hoping that something turns into a real actual full-time job or at least something that will let me move myself and all of my books out of my Dad’s house. I am currently spending a month in the in-between place that is my childhood bedroom, the walls are purple and there are books in every drawer of my armoire and double-stacked on the shelves in the armoire, and filling my bookshelf, not to mention the books that I brought back in crates from my most recent apartment.
It’s hard to think that the Harry Potter books are 20-years-old today, but then I remember that I am almost 23 and that Harry Potter has been with me every step of the way. My tattered copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sits on the bookshelf in my childhood bedroom, surrounded by the next seven years of Hogwarts. As I try and think of a time when Harry wasn’t an important character in my life, nothing comes to mind. And because this is my blog I’m going to share some of the times that those books and the world that surrounds them gave me a place to call home.
As many of you may know June is national audio books month.
So, audiobooks. I remember when I was younger renting books on tape from the library and listening to them on drives to and from summer camp. And now that I’m living in a city and using my own two feet to get me around, I’ve been struggling to find a way to consume more books. Short of pulling a Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Bennet and walking while reading, which seems safe in Netherfield Park during the early 1800s, but not as convenient in streets with other people and cars. It was as I was considering the best method to hold books while walking and how often I would need to look up, I fondly remembered listening to audiobooks when I was younger.