Do you judge a book by it's cover? It's pretty hard not to.
All this month we have been challenging students to choose a book to read without looking at the cover. In order to ensure that they won't sneak a peek at the cover, we had one of our intrepid TAs wrap the books in thick paper. Here's a picture of our display:
I was actually very surprised with how popular this has been. Students have been clamoring into the library every morning and lunch to get their hands on one. We can barely keep the display stocked each day.
Tomorrow is the last day of the "challenge" and here are some of the highlights:
1) Watching students drag their friends into the library and read all the descriptions of the books out loud to each other to help them decide which book to choose. (Each book "cover" simply lists the genre, and 2-4 keywords about the book).
2) Very few students have picked a book that they've already read. I think only the Hunger Games (which, looking ahead to next time, I won't include) had been read by the person checking it out.
3) Students coming in and wanting the sequels and/or another book by the author.
4) When we survey they students (via a quick "review" form included with the book), most have remarked that they would not have checked out the book based solely on the cover, and now that they've read it, they want more of that genre/author/series. YEAH!
5) My favorite was the girl who came rushing into the library Monday morning desperate to read the sequel of the book she'd checked out on Friday. She said that she NEVER would have checked out the book if she'd seen the cover but now HAD to find out what happens.
One student was very sad today when I told her that no, we would not be doing this for the rest of the school year. (They don't realize that the novelty would wear off. And that my secretary would quit if we wrapped up books all year long). We might be convinced to bring it back more than once/year based on how much fun it was.
In the meantime, we will have another reading challenge for March...stay tuned!