/  By  / 

Two easy ways to promote independent reading

favicon Here’s a book stand that I found at one of my schools. You’ll notice that the books are really old. (I’m not sure that students will snatch up The Best American Short Stories of 1984.)

But the stand itself is pretty great. And it demonstrates what booksellers and librarians have known for years: People prefer books when their covers are facing outward.

This leads me to two quick ideas:
1. Display “just read” books. When students finish their book, they don’t immediately shelve the book back into the classroom library. This lowers the chance of a book getting popular. Rather, students put their book on the just read stand. Thisshows other students which books have just been completed, which can increase circulation.

2. Display “our favorite” books. After a book is read by, say, five students, it’s eligible for placement in this bookstand. The goal is to build a display of the students’ most-loved books of the year. A few questions: What happens when the stand is fulland there’s another nomination? Does one book have to be voted off the stand? Also, I assume these best-books will be popular. Does there need to be a placeholder to stand in for that book when a student is reading it?

I can’t wait to get this stand into a teacher’s classroom. My hope is to take another photo once students make the stand their own. Let me know what you think and if you have other ideas for displaying books. favicon


  1. Laura H

    Our librarian does this at Urban! It’s certainly what gets me (as a teacher) checking out books. She also does nice 3-book sets (facing out) called “Read this, Then that” with books that have similar themes or approaches. That’s gotten me too 🙂

  2. Mark Isero

    Laura, I like your school’s librarian!

    The Books Inc. on Van Ness has a huge front-facing book display when you walk into the store — tons of books, just staring you in the face, welcoming you to try them out!

    Your librarian’s other idea is a good one, too. The trick is to keep the books moving around, to get them interacting with each other. The whole point is to “sell” books.

    If I may ask, what are some of the “Read this, then that” books?

Please share your brilliant insights!