14-year-old Brittany Lopez read 325 novels and comics this summer, winning the New York Public Library's Summer Reading 2010 contest. Lopez, who received her award at Yankees Stadium, says, "Curtis Granderson pinched me to check I wasn't dreaming. I wasn't!"
Like many other commenters, I'm bothered by rewarding quantity. I really don't care about the quality of what she's reading, as long as she's enjoying it and it's not so poorly written as to actually hurt her reading comprehension, but I've always been bothered by speed-reading, no matter what the material. There's no evidence to say this girl is a speed-reader, but I've seen enough kids on Jeopardy! Kids Week and the like who say they've read X-amount of books because they can speed read to know it's something that's considered an asset and, in some ways, preferable to taking your time with a book. Speed-reading is something that can be handy for students who need to take in text book information and other non-pleasurable reading in a limited amount of time, but to extend it to reading novels and other literature seems wrong to me. If you are speed-reading correctly, it won't affect comprehension or retention, but it will necessarily affect the time you have to emotionally process what's happening in the story and to speculate on what might happen next. To me, those are the reasons why I read, not just to have the information in the book instantly within my brain. I guess I just think encouraging kids to read more and more, faster and faster, is negating the encouragement of why they should value reading and what it can add to their lives.