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Before issuing the assignment try some of the activities from the Logging up reading mileage unit to get your students thinking about reading and its importance.
More importantly students need to be enthused about:
Try some of the following during an initial reading/library period:
brief plot synopsies designed to whet appetites
hints about the themes to be encountered in particular books
"warnings" about the "mature content" of some of the books
using overtly manipulative reverse psychology, share your personal dislike of some books
show the opening sequence from film versions of 1-2 of the books
read blurbs - if they are well written and enticing
prepare readings of opening extracts or particularly exciting/moving parts of a book
talk briefly about some aspect of an author's life if this is likely to attract some students to their book
Above all, be as knowledgeable and passionate as you can about the books you are introducing.