Accelerated Reading for Adults
So, are you familiar with the Accelerated Reading © program? It is a computerized monitoring system for students to use, to keep track of their reading and reward students for reading increasingly difficult books.
Say you are a sixth-grader. You go to the school library (if your school is lucky enough to have one of those) and check out a book. Hmmm. Why, look! It’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle. You have heard that this book has diabolical plot twists, a fantastically alluring main character named Sherlock Holmes, and a delightfully wicked ending.
But you’re not interested in that. Instead, you look straight for the Accelerated Reader © chart.
Hound of the Baskervilles is worth 11 points! And it has a reading level of grade 8.3!
So, you, the sixth grader, read the book, take a few comprehension quizzes on the computer, and then are allowed to rack up your 11 points on the chart your teacher has hanging on the wall.
Am I knocking the Accelerated Reading program? Well, of course! But then again, it is sort of awesome in a way. I mean, who wouldn’t want to take something as unquantifiable as the enjoyment of literature and quantify it solely for the purpose of competition? Not me! Let’s take another look at that list of Accelerated Reading values.
I know what you’re thinking: “Wait. What? Kids are reading Beloved in the sixth grade? Whatever.”
So, adults, let us give ourselves points for the books we are reading! What follows are some books you may have read, a few sample questions from the quizzes, and your point values.
1. American Psycho, by Brett Easton Ellis
2. The Time Traveler's Wife
I read this book because:
A. I found it at the dollar store.
B. My buddies dared me to.
C. I was literally in prison and it was literally the only book I had access to.
D. My wife loved it.