Skip to main content
View Sidebar
Click on any book icon to see Table of Contents and/or to purchase a copy.
Henry Loves “Junk Reading:” Horrors. Nope.

Henry Loves “Junk Reading:” Horrors. Nope.

April 9, 2020

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

First, the photo at the top is just our little reminder to ourselves…

Now, on to the content of this WinkWorld: As some of you know, I love the various forms of literacy and the multiple meanings of literacies.  Remember when we thought that literacy was reading and writing–well, it is that, but it is also much, much more.  The concept of literacy is now understood to be wider and deeper than what I used to think many years ago. For example, do  you know about “junk literacy?”

 Junk Reading

“Henry loves to read junk,” his mom told me.  “What will I do? 

“What is the junk that he reads?” I asked.

“He is constantly reading advertisements for tractor parts, new trucks, and big tires. He even reads the instruction books for our ranch vehicles.  He is always finding the seed or chemical catalogs to read.  He even loves to read credit card applications.  He loves to read junk,” Mom explained to me.

Henry is 5-years-old

Here he is with his junk literacy.

Below here Henry is reading more of his favorite junk reading.



This reminds me of another little boy and his junk reading: Pokéon and Captain Underpants–and, from there he went right to Harry Potter.  Dawn shared this story with me in The Power of Story.

Here is Wyatt today, and I see no evidence that his junk reading hurt him.

Wyatt today.


Krashen and Ujiie (2005) ask us to re-think our old ideas about light reading, or junk reading.  We all read junk, but we call it light reading.  I have light reading all over the house, and it doesn’t seem to hurt me. Light reading leads to more complex reading.  I can only read one or two fast, easy novels, and then I need something more.

With tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I have also written about junk literacy.

Junk Literacy: What?

The Power of Story, (2018, pp. 30-32)


For more on the various types of literacy, see below.



  • Sharon Biegen

    I love this post! Makes so much sense–love of reading leads to love of reading!
    I especially love your non-isolating (unifying) social isolation photo!
    Best, Sharon

  • Nancy Bartlett

    Love the photo of you and Dean. I like junk reading. A person can learn endless things it can lead them to their natural abilities and talents….following your true self!

Leave a reply