Question 1: Is reading still reading?
There's no question that the form our reading takes is changing significantly. That has to affect the way in which we read. I notice that I read e-books differently than I read printed books. I read things on the internet differently than I read print or e-books. But, at the heart of it, reading is still the same- we are decoding symbols to make sense of the text. But, I think, the way we make meaning-our act of understanding the text- that process- might be different for the different things we read.
We talk about how we need to read informational text in a different way than literature. And, we need to teach students how to read informational text differently. Maybe we need to take that a step further and teach how reading e-book is different than reading a printed book. Or, how we need to read things from the internet in slightly different ways than an e-book or print. We might need to teach specific strategies for reading in different forms- just like we teach the difference between genres.
I don't think reading will vanish as a skill. But I do think its form and function are changing drastically and we, as teachers, need to change with it.
Question 2: The Role of Fiction
I love the quote from this chapter, "Nonfiction lets us learn more; fiction lets us be more." I read a lot, and the majority of it is fiction. The non fiction I read mostly takes the form of teacher books unless I am researching something I am teaching my students. I am guilty, in the past, of using more fiction in my classroom than non fiction. With common core guidelines I have been trying very hard to include more informational text into my class. I am returning to 3rd grade after teaching kindergarten for the past three years. I know the way I use informational text in 3rd grade will be different from how I used it in Kindergarten. It will be a challenge for me to adapt to these common core changes at the 3rd grade level. Bringing more nonfiction into the classroom is something I am continuing to work on...