The Art of Reading for Pleasure!
I wanted this reading of the novel to be reminiscent of how I read for enjoyment. I find a comfy chair and make a big pot of coffee before I settle down with my book. The whole idea of this unit is to show students, not only that new books are entertaining, but that they need to view reading as a source of enjoyment in their lives. Students who do not see "reading for fun" modeled at home do not know how to read for pleasure, or even understand that reading can actually be enjoyable.
Hopefully in your bookstore field trip, students were able to see people enjoying a book or magazine, and there wasn't a teacher lurking over their shoulder making them do it! With that in mind, I encouraged my students to bring beverages to class, we sat on the floor, some sprawled across my bean bags and rocking chairs, and we read The Hunger Games together.
Sometimes we would read a chapter out loud, but mostly, they wanted me to read it to them while they followed along. Maybe it's because I have two small children, but I like to make voices for each character while I read, and I think that makes the reading process much more fun for students. Most importantly, though, we TALKED about what we were reading while we read it. If some crazy event happened (and believe me, there are a plethora of "crazy" events going on in this book) we would pause and discuss it.
This was the last six weeks of my school year, so I only took participation grades and didn't give pop quizzes to keep them reading. I didn't have to use quizzes as a threat to pay attention because I had done such a thorough job of building up anticipation for the novel that students were hooked before we read the first chapter. Browsing the author's website and reading synopsis and reviews had the students eager to read! The book did the rest of the hooking for me, because after reading the first two chapters, they didn't want to stop! I'm sure you will have the same success in your classroom if you push reading for PLEASURE and keep the threats and paperwork at bay for one small portion of your school year. You may have students that leave your room with a life-long passion for reading, and to me, that is the greatest gift we can give our students!