Literacy

Thorndyke the Bear in a READ shirt

Reluctant readers come in all ages, stages, and sizes. This summer, overcome a lack of enthusiasm with these tips, which can be applied to reading ruts of all kinds. Examples link to children's materials, but these suggestions can work for grown-ups, too.

  • Forget reading level for just a minute, and start with interests or hobbies. Search for fiction and nonfiction that focus on that topic. Maybe you like soccer: use our subject headings to find relevant biographiesfiction, and nonfiction.
  • Explore picture books. There are many beautiful titles that are worth reading, and as a bonus are short and satisfying.
  • Use writing as a springboard and create a summer journal. Then see why journal-format fiction is so popular.
  • Explore the graphic novel shelf. Dense illustrations make a reader slow down to really enjoy the story.
  • Come to a book discussion program, or start your own. Read the book together. Reading can be more fun when it's shared, and even if you hated the book, you can talk about how much you disliked it.
  • Grab some poetry. Sometimes it's serious, but a lot of times it's silly and entertaining.
  • Listen to an audiobook. All of the story and vocabulary words without the visuals. Even better if you're listening with the whole family on a road trip and can discuss the story as you go.
  • Pick something you want to DO - maybe you want to travel to Ireland, become a scientist, or learn to keep bees. Use books to gather useful information for your quest.
  • Look for a book that has a movie version. Even picture books have been made into full-length movies. Read, and then watch. Which did you like better?
  • Start with music, and listen to a favorite album or song artist. Then learn more about that person, maybe even in their own words.
  • Ask a librarian! You can visit us at any of the Reference Desks, or use our May We Suggest form to get personalized recommendations online. 

No matter what, keep trying. Try new formats, try new recommendations, try non-print stories. It's never too late to find something good.

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