Reinvigorating Student Interest in Pleasure Reading

How to Build an Effective Sustained Silent Reading Program in the Classroom


  • David O'Brien University of Toledo


Sustained silent reading


Pleasure reading has undergone a drastic decline among students while time spent on electronic devices has soared. In order to promote literacy in an age of digital entertainment, educators must reinvigorate student interest in reading for fun. Sustained silent reading is a promising tool to achieve that goal. SSR theorizes that students will experience reading as a pleasurable activity if provided the freedom to choose their own books and the ability to interact with those texts without summative assessments. Although there are many ways to structure SSR in the classroom, research shows that the most effective programs help students select books matching their ability level and interests, create opportunities for sharing with peers, integrate SSR with lesson planning, and promote teacher modeling of independent reading.

Author Biography

David O'Brien, University of Toledo

David O’Brien holds a Master of Education from the University of Toledo and teaches English at St. John’s Jesuit High School. David previously spent twenty years as an attorney specializing in criminal defense. During his free time, he enjoys skiing, volleyball, and playing with his two labs, Lilly and Lola.


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How to Cite

O’Brien, D. (2020). Reinvigorating Student Interest in Pleasure Reading: How to Build an Effective Sustained Silent Reading Program in the Classroom. Learning to Teach, 9(1). Retrieved from



Section on Language Arts