Between March 23 and 27, the American School Foundation of Guadalajara (ASFG)’s halls were bustling with students of all grade levels carrying new purchases from the Book Fair held in the school’s auditorium.
The fair was part of the annual Reading Week held at the school, in which students were encouraged to incorporate books into their lives through reading more and activities like bookmark-making contests. At the Book Fair, local book stores set up booths to sell books. The place was full of students browsing through a wide selection of recent releases to classics.
“Some retailers that attended the event were local bookstores including Gandhi, Gonvill, and Lee Lefante. Mr. Nacho, the elementary science teacher, and senior student Zulette Guerrerosantos also had a stand selling their self-published books,” Juliet Evans, the school’s library director and the organizer of the event, told JSR.
The Book Fair helps students find interest in reading, giving them a chance to discover books that they enjoy.
“The Book Fair is a big part of Reading Week because it helps people in school find reading material of their liking,” stated participant Sofía Bandera. “I personally really like the Book Fair because I can buy books that are scarcely found [here in Mexico].”
“Most students enter the Book Fair bored, then something catches their eye. Maybe it’s something they like, maybe it’s the book’s cover art. Whatever it is, …the new book [works] as a new motivation for them to start reading,” said Steven Lee, a participant of the event.
Many students feel like reading is a chore, and often the required reading at school is not to their taste. Reading Week has helped young people find enjoyment and motivation in reading.
“By reading widely, students are exposed to situations, places, ideas and people that are different from those they encounter in their everyday lives. It opens our minds to new experiences and helps us decide who we are and what we value,” said Evans.
“I love the feeling of entering another world when I’m reading,” she continued. “I can go anywhere and do anything, without leaving my chair. It’s a kind of virtual reality experience – one that doesn’t require much technology!”
“If students [start] looking at reading as a hobby, not a chore, lots of things will change. Students will start expanding their minds, thus increasing their knowledge about topics. It will also expand their vocabulary and help them adopt new writing skills and apply them to their own writing,” Lee told JSR.