BTT: Reading encouragement

Suggested by Barbara H:

How can you encourage a non-reading child to read? What about a teen-ager? Would you require books to be read in the hopes that they would enjoy them once they got into them, or offer incentives, or just suggest interesting books? If you do offer incentives and suggestions and that doesn’t work, would you then require a certain amount of reading? At what point do you just accept that your child is a non-reader?

Honestly I have no clue because I don’t have any kids nor do I interact with kids or teenagers who would require reading encouragement.

You know I always think that when I have kids I would really want them to be book lovers. It opens up a whole new world, not to mention hours and hours of entertainment. I know it’s weird but I really want a girl so that I can give all my books to her as an inheritance. Most of the books I have are the ones women would like to read. All the romance books might not go down well with a boy.

But anyway, I’m digressing. As far as I’m concerned, no one encouraged me to read, neither at home nor at school. I started reading pretty late and it just happened. I guess it’s about finding the right book at the right time. With teenage girls you cannot go wrong with Nancy Drew’s and just progress from there. Besides the kind of books that are getting written in the YA category, I don’t think there is ever going to be a dearth of reading material.

But then again, if my kids do not like reading it’s not going to be the end of the world. I would definitely be very sad, but I would eventually be okay with it. Time will tell.

I’m definitely interested in reading answers of the experienced people out there.

20 thoughts on “BTT: Reading encouragement

Add yours

  1. Hi Violet, nobody really encouraged me to read either. I sort of bumped into a book at the library and I have Enid Blyton to thank for. She really got me crazy on reading. LOL!


  2. Reading happens. When there are books in the house, lying around, and the child sees everybody at home reading, it automatically takes off. It may happen any time between 5 and 15 but it doesn’t matter, eventually they’ll read. Reading families read.

    For those who do not have a reading habit, they have not got the right book for themselves !


  3. I agree with another commenter that reading just “happens,” but now it’s more a question of where a child is reading that’s the problem. If a kid is doing most of his/her reading online, on sites such as MySpace and Facebook, that’s not the kind of reading I think I would encourage in a reluctant reader because there is absolutely no proper structure to anything found on those sites.

    I think it’s more a matter of getting the right books into the hands of kids at the right time and not forcing anything

    Here’s my answer:


  4. We started reading to our son almost as soon as we brought him home from the hospital. He grew up surrounded by books and we always had reading time in the evening. He’s an English major now.


  5. I agree with you in that I grew up loving to read but no one really taught me to love to read. It was ingrained in me for some reason. I hope my children love to read too!


  6. Same here Violet. I hve no clue how to “cultivate” the habit. I started reading comics and stuff like that, as it would help kepp me occupied – according to Dad and I won’t hop around eating his head on long train journeys.
    Anyway… that was a good thing and I am glad i did start reading.
    But after school, life took charge and i eventually could not read as much as i wanted to.

    i restarted late… but then it is better late than never right… so i m happy!


  7. Nobody really encouraged me to read. But both my parents are prolific readers, so that got me interested in books. That said, my brother does not read at all!

    I have a just turned 4 daughter, and I am making all efforts to show her the wonder and fun of books. She is starting to catch on and enjoy them, but these days there are so many distractions, that I am not sure whether reading books will actually take hold or not…one thing I can say though is that I am thoroughly enjoying all the book browsing and fairy-tale rereading that I am doing using her as an excuse 😀


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