Earlier today, I wrote about students and reading. I got several really thought-provoking comments from students which I enjoyed reading and will use to inform my teaching practice.
However: I went off to teach this afternoon. People streamed in from the time we were meant to start until 45(!) minutes later. Of the 25 people there, 1 (one!) person had bought the novel (Farrell's Troubles) and she'd read 50 pages. So of the two two-hour slots to talk about the book, the first one was wasted. Instead, I gave an extemporised lecture on Irish history and postcolonial literary theory, and we had a bit of a discussion. Useful, but not what we were there for. Because they hadn't read the book, I did most of the talking, which is what I wanted to avoid.
These students are mostly very bright and interested (and likeable: I really enjoy being in the classroom with them): it's not simply that they're too lazy to get the book. But there is a resistance to buying them and to seeing them as anything other than a chore, which is a shame, and something I need to work on. Must remind self: I'm a bit odd.