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Friday, March 5, 2010

Trying to Instill a Love of Reading in My Son

I love reading. I always have and always will. As a child I got lost in Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys mysteries and found myself transported back in time when I read the Laura Ingall's Wilder series. The library was a place I frequented eagerly and often.

So when I had children, I hoped and quite frankly assumed that my love of reading gene would be passed on. For the most part it has, of my 4 children, 3 are avid readers. However, I have one son who just doesn't find picking up a book a pleasurable experience.

At first, it was something that I worried about. I'd listen to friends talk about how much their kids loved the Magic Tree House books or the A Series of Unfortunate Events stories and wish that my son would read through his collection.  With every new Harry Potter book, I'd hear how Jimmy, read it in two days or how Janie couldn't wait for the next book to come out and again feel a bit of envy.  Oh how I longed for my son to want to read---to actually pick up a book without being told.

But then one day after chatting with a friend who said she really didn't become a "reader" until she was an adult, I realized I should let myself and my son off the hook.  That even though I loved reading my son didn't have to (but yes, he would have to do his required 30 minutes of reading each night whether he liked it or not).

Letting go of the idea that my son is not a "bookworm" was tough but one that I've come to accept.   This doesn't mean that I have given up.  I will still encourage him to read and I'm always keeping an ear out for a new series and book recommendations from his peers.  And my hope is that through trial and error, together we will find a particular book or genre that will grab him and spark a new found love for reading.

I truly believe that one day it will come.

If you have any recommendations on what a 7th grade boy might enjoy reading, PLEASE let me know. I welcome and appreciate any ideas you can provide!

This post was inspired by the Yahoo! Mother Board (March is national reading month) which I am proud to be a new member of.


  1. My kids are much bigger readers than I ever was as a kid. I'm a really slow reader and unless I'm reading pretty often, it takes me forever to get through a book. But I think you're right ... it has to be the right book or series that sparks the interest. I enjoy reading much more now as an adult, but don't have nearly as much time as I would like, to read. For my kids, it doesn't always have to be the novels/chapter books that keeps them reading. Calvin and Hobbes are the most read books in our house!!

  2. My daughter is a bookworm like me, but I wonder if my six-year old sons will follow in your son's footsteps. They love being read to out loud but they are struggling to learn to read on their own. Thanks for sharing your experience -- I guess I need to let their love of reading develop in their own good time.


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