Many years ago, there was something of a “moral panic” that kids were only reading Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine. You know what? Those are good, well written books and entertaining stories that got kids to read.
Kids ate them up, which is wonderful. Sure they’re easy and entertaining, but it just makes reading more facile in general.
Personally, I think Goosebumps books are great. Why should reading be hard or boring, read the fun stuff if you want.
When I was about 12 years old, some very sexy Harlequin romance novels circulated around my friend group. We would highlight the euphemisms for sex.
I once chatted with an adult literacy teacher, he’d give them porn books to read since the basic texts were so boring. Then they had practice with reading since it was interesting for them.
The goal with basic literacy isn’t about expecting most readers to interpret classic literature like an English Major. It’s about being able to read and understand forms and pamphlets to be a citizen. And hopefully read and understand news articles.
I earned an English degree in 1999. I read whatever the hell I want now and don’t have to write papers. I don’t fester with “serious literature” since I mostly find it boring and tiresome nowadays.
I read a lot of books. That’s still my passion since I was a little girl. And now I have the little weight of my University of Alabama English degree.
I love reading Steven King nowadays, he really is the best modern author.