Sunday, April 2, 2017

How Can We Raise Better Book Readers?

My kids just took a statewide test in English.  They are 9 and 12 and both like to read.  But I still see how they choose television or device time over curling up with a book.  Parents and teachers want children to enjoy the act of reading and to grow into smart, avid readers.  So how do we raise strong readers?

Here are some factors to consider:

1.      Model good behavior
Show them you read often.

2.      Talk about books
Ask them questions about what they read and tell them about your books.

3.      Give them choices
Have them know they can read anything they want and encourage them to test out different genres.

4.      Visit a bookstore together
Browse what’s new and introduce them to how to go about finding the right book.

5.      Make trips to the library as a family
Let them see that going to a place of books is an event, a destination, and to appreciate the free availability of all kinds of books.

6.      Encourage them to read more often
Find times of the day or week to reserve for reading.  The more they read, the better they’ll get at, and feel inspired to read more.

7.      Real aloud -- or encourage them to do so
Sharing in books in this fashion takes an individual experience and turns it into a group activity.

8.      Encourage them to research what they read
      If a book’s subject matter interests them, show them how to find more background info on the topic.

9.      Show them how to be inquisitive readers
It’s not enough to just read and take writers at their word.  Teach children to raise questions and challenge what they read.  Illustrate how to be a thinker and not a mere follower or passive observer.

10.  Make reading an active experience
Have them record a list of what they read. Encourage them to track time spent reading on a daily basis.  Ask them to log their favorite passage.  Let them notate words that pop up in the book that they need to look up in a dictionary  Lastly, ask them to write a 200-word review of the book.  The more you show you value their opinions, the more likely they’ll feel like reading is worthy of their time.

There are many benefits to reading.  These following reasons for why one should read books can be conveyed to your child to inspire them to read more:

1.      Reading books makes you smarter.

2.      You become a better reader and student by reading books.

3.      Books can stimulate our minds and turn us into analytical, creative, and probing thinkers.

4.      Books improve our vocabulary.

5.      Reading books helps us become better writers.

6.      Books can give us exposure to things we don’t otherwise have access to or the ability/permission to experience.

7.      From our books, we inform our worldly views.

8.      Book help us form our identity and sense of self.

9.      Books can challenge our beliefs.

10.  Best of all, time with books means less time for watching television, surfing the web, bullying, addictions, social media, and many other poor behavioral activities. Learn the habit of loving books!

11.  Reading books offers a wonderful escape.

12.  Books enhance our imaginations.

13.  Books allow us to relax.

14.  Books can model good behavior and inspire us to greater heights.

15.  Books can show us coping mechanisms for life.

Asking young readers about the content in the books that they consume is a really good way to deepen their engagement with books.  Ask them:

·         What’s the book about?
·         Which characters do you like or hate?  Why?
·         What surprised you?
·         Did it present new ideas to you?
·         Did it challenge or support your assumptions or values?
·         How does it compare to other books that you read?
·         Did the book make you feel anything?
·         What would you say to the author if you could meet him or her?

The world of books is the only one I care to exist in and I will do my best to encourage my kids to feel passionate about books.  But it takes time and effort.  Don’t give up if your children don’t seem as enthused about books as you are.  They just need time and experience to see how wonderful books can be.  

Reading books is what life’s all about.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby

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