I'm not surprised by what I see. The culture of reading in our school is well established. If I walked down the corridor to our Grade 8 rooms, I would see the same sight!
It's just that seeing them all engrossed in books just a few days after the start of the school year means they are already doing something positive and powerful for themselves. When I eventually move into lessons about characterization and word choice and conflict and connections to texts, we will already have that shared experience of becoming engaged as readers.
And shared it is...it is essential for me to practice what I preach! I vary my material - novels at MY reading level/interest, university texts, and of course I regularly read new books that have have been ordered for our class library.
They also KNOW I am a reader when I can speak in an informed way about the books I am recommending. When I determine from their interest surveys or a conversation that they prefer mysteries I can suggest everything from Cam Jansen to "How Come the Best Clues are Always in the Garbage?" to Encyclopedia Brown.
Adventure...try Gordan Korman's Everest series or Hatchet!
An IMPORTANT feature of how we DO the reading program at our school is the fact that it is based on
PUTTING THE RIGHT BOOK IN THE RIGHT HANDS AT THE RIGHT TIME.
We assess our students' reading levels periodically and regardless of the grade they are currently in, they are paired up with texts that are appropriate to their level. Because of the climate we have established students do not feel the pressure to have thick novels in their hands.
They understand and support each other no matter the size of the book or the size of the font. I have had Grade 5 students celebrate the gains made by their classmate with learning difficulties with primary texts!
Using a collection of levelled texts (PM Benchmark books and thousands of books across genres from Scholastic and other companies) from Kindergarten up to our Grade eight classrooms, we are able to support students as they grow into independent, interested readers maybe even BOOKWORMS before they know it!
If I do little else -that will at least help them as lifelong learners.