Paideia Librarian Suggests Quantity Over Quality Reading | WABE 90.1 FM

Paideia Librarian Suggests Quantity Over Quality Reading

Jun 13, 2017

Paideia School librarian Natalie Bernstein prepares to read to a group of elementary school students on pajama day.
Credit Courtesy of Natalie Bernstein

We hear so much about the short attention spans of children and the death of the book. Some say that the archaic form of reading has been replaced by Kindles or iPads.

That’s not really the case, though.

Natalie Bernstein is elementary school librarian at Druid Hills' Paideia School  in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s preparing for the first day of school this Wednesday, and she took some time to speak with Lois Reitzes about children’s literature and how children cherish reading.

“The elementary children I work with overwhelmingly love books and overwhelmingly love to be read to,” said Bernstein. “They’ll settle into a story with me even though I know they adore their Minecraft games, and they are very heavily scheduled.”

Bernstein also said for children, quantity of reading matters more than quality of reading.

“I push this idea a lot,” she said. “Adults read beach books. Kids ought to read fun stuff, too.”

She suggests that even as children read their equivalent of beach reads, they are testing their behavior and values against what is happening in the books.

For the adults out there, Bernstein suggested some children’s literature to read:

  • “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman
  • “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
  • “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
  • “Holes” by Louis Sachar
  • “The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan
  • “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll
  • “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame