Booking Through Thursday

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question was:

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?


So I’ve tried requiring books.

I’ve offered incentives.

I have suggested interesting books.

Despite all my best efforts, Princess Girl is not much of a reader. And I don’t know how to change it.

It isn’t that she hates reading. Once she sits down with a book in front of her she loves the story. She will get engrossed and could read for hours. The problem is that sitting down with a book is probably only above cleaning toilets and emptying the cat litter on her ‘What can I do to occupy my free time?’ list.

I never when through this as a child. I loved to read from an early age. I remember in third or fourth grade I read a book a day over our 10 day spring break. My mom read. My dad read. My grandma read. It was just what you did in your free time, no matter who you were. I always enjoyed sharing and discussing books with my dad and grandma.

(Mom was too over-protective much of the time to share what she was reading, although she knew I was reading through all of Stephen King’s offerings at 14 or 15. The Stand is still my all time favorite book.)

Princess Girl is surrounded by reading role models. From her grandparents to me to one of her good friends, who is almost as avid a reader as I am, there are readers everywhere in her life. And she loves the stories. You can watch her eyes light up and her face animate as she talks about a book once she does start reading it.

I guess my question is not how do you encourage a child or teen to read, but how do you get them to CHOOSE to read.

I haven’t yet accepted that fact that she may be a non-reader. I refuse to give up hope.

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