One year at a homeschool convention I heard a speaker talk about how important it is to teach reading for pleasure. One recommendation he had for this was to always keep a basket of books around. This must be easily accessible and visible and should be in a spot that is comfortable and inviting for them to go to. The other thing he said you must do is fill it up with books that are 1 to 2 levels below your child's current reading skills. Think about it for a minute. When we want to unwind and relax, even as adults, we tend to choose items that are below our reading level and potential. This is the whole concept behind the magazine. Short stories and articles are easier to take in then an entire book. We tend to grab those when we just want to relax. So while we may be reading on a college level, that does not mean we want to read a college text book every time we sit down to read. Instead we read novels that are generally below our actual reading level. It's the same thing with kids. While they can and should read books that are on their level, when they want to read for fun, they should be able to grab something that doesn't require them to work too hard, but instead allows them to enjoy the time reading.
Up until now I had not really implemented the idea because we always had a bag of library books in reach but the way my house is now, that seems to get pushed aside and forgotten anymore. She also has a bookshelf in her room but it is too full and has so many selections she seldom goes through it anymore. So this month we started our formal "Reading Center" and even put up a sign to encourage Gess to use it. Right now we actually have a time set aside in the afternoon where she will spend a certain amount of time in the reading center. I usually only ask her to spend about 10 minutes there but most of the time she ends up being there a lot longer than that. We recycle the books that are in there every week or two. I can't wait to hit garage sales this summer and get her an even greater selection.