My other son reads, just not quite as much. At 14, he has other things he wants to do, however he does love stories and is constantly listening to audio books.
To encourage a love of reading in my boys, there a number of things we have done. These include:
- Always having books in the house - we have a large library that includes books of many different styles.
- Let them read whatever they want - we haven't limited the books to ones deemed "age appropriate". If they want to read a picture book when they are 10, that's OK. If they want to read Harry Potter at 7, then great.
- Find books that feed their interests - whether it's a fiction or non-fiction book, finding books that are related to their interests keeps them interested in reading, and can even spark the love of a type of book or a particular author
- Let them read what I'm writing - I suppose my kids are lucky their mum is a children's author, but being involved in the process of writing and publishing books has also encouraged them to read. They love picking up errors in my books, and look for them in any book they read!
- Set a challenge - my kids are competitive and there has been a number of times when I set them a reading challenge. Most recently, my 12 year old is joining me on the PopSugar reading challenge, but we've had to tweak it a bit.
- Giving them books & book vouchers as gifts - this helps with the first point, but letting them choose a book with a book voucher or giving them a book I think they will enjoy gives them a buzz, and a new book to read.
Boys do read, we just need to make sure they have the tools to do so... so give them access to as many books as they like so they can find a love of reading.
Melissa Gijsbers lives in Melbourne with her two sons. She has a day job as a bookkeeper and in her spare time is a blogger and author.