Let's Make Reading Fun Again!
About 1/5 of children would find it embarrassing to be seen reading a book, according to a study done by the National Literacy Trust in 2012. I think that study should worry all of us.
Reading has always been an important aspect of my life. As a child, I loved reading more than anything. Reading captured my imagination unlike anything else. Hollywood could never live up to what I pictured when I was reading (hence why the books are always better than the movies!). In fact, my love of reading is probably what made me into an author. I couldn’t get enough of books, so I wrote my own.
When I was 10 years old, I came up with a story idea that combined two of my favorite things – animals and royalty. Two years later, when I was 12, I wrote the final draft of that story. That story was The Tiger Princess, a fantasy adventure novel about a 10-year-old tiger Princess named Saderia who struggles to solve the mystery of how her royal parents disappeared. The Tiger Princess became the first book in a series geared toward children around ages 8-12 when I published it at the age of 13.
Reading is what made me into an author, so it worries me that so many kids seem to dislike reading. They’re missing out on a great experience! So how can we make reading cool again? Well, I can’t speak for all kids, but I can tell you what made me a lifelong reader and what might get some kids to love reading, too.
1. Being read to.
My mom read to me every day for as long as I can remember. For years, we picked out a book and read together for about an hour each night. This was a big reason why I loved reading.
2. Find books in genres they like.
This is a no-brainer, but it’s important. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t touch realistic fiction, but I adored fantasy books. Try giving kids books in a variety of genres and see what they like.
3. Go to a library.
I loved going to the library as a kid and browsing through the books. I think letting a child pick books on their own encourages them to read by letting them choose something they know they’re interested in.
Extra: Try an e-reader.
This one might be controversial, but for some, it might encourage reading. E-readers might encourage kids to read because: 1. It’s a new experience. 2. It makes it easier to carry books everywhere. And 3. It’s cool. Kids are always on top of new technology and might find it ‘cool’ to have an e-reader to show off, instead of feeling embarrassed to be found reading. Also, e-books are usually inexpensive (for instance, The Tiger Princess is currently free for the Kindle!), so kids can read more for less. It might not be for everyone, but I’ve found I read more now with an e-reader, and some kids might feel the same way.
Thank you for hosting me, Renee, and thanks to everyone for reading and checking out The Tiger Princess! If you were a voracious reader as a kid, what started your love of books?