I’ve sometimes assigned 7th/8th students to keep a reading log of pages read weekly–whether in articles, stories, books. Mostly they read books, but not necessarily whole books. We filled a “thermometer” on the wall with pages read with a goal of tens of thousands, which I thought was high, but they topped it by March. Once a week or so, I took some time in English class for students to simply “talk about” what they’ve been reading (not formal book reports, in this case). And some of the readers did read “fluff” books–but they did read. Reading does strengthen reading. Better to read some “fluff” (so long as it’s OK fluff) than not read at all. Not all exercise is equally inspiring or invigorating, but it is still exercise and strengthens one in some way.