Lack of Reading Materials and Negative Attitudes

This is post #5 in the series “When Children–and Adults Too–Hate Reading”

Lack of reading material in the home, or at least of lack of material that’s personally interesting and relevant to real life can cause people to “hate reading.” Fear not! These are problems with lots of easy solutions!

  • Even if you can’t afford to buy much reading material, there are always libraries and other sources of low-cost or free reading materials:
    • yard sales (often give away books for free near the end of the sale),
    • thrift stores
    • library or service club book sale events
    • check with friends and extended family for reading material they’re finished with and will donate
    • book and magazine swaps or sharing
    • check “clearance” tables at bookstores and other stores for some great deals
  • Scatter reading material all over the house! Provide lots of variety: fiction and non-fiction books, e-reader materials (look for free or low-cost/sale offers), magazines, newspapers, internet websites, graphic novels, poetry, anthologies, handbooks, how-to books, joke and riddle books, series books (kids–and even adults–who don’t read much will often start reading a lot more if they find a series that interests them).
  • Be open to alternatives that require a bit of reading, and will draw a non-reader in: Foreign language movies with captions; kids shows and videos with captions (my granddaughter recommends “Teen Titans” and “ABC YA”); video games that include writing (my grandson recommends “Minecraft”).

Lack of understanding of the life-long value of reading and learning can also lead to “I hate reading” attitudes. But understanding the life-long value of reading and learning is … well, a learned behaviour and understanding, so those negative attitudes can be changed. How?

While a life-long love of reading and learning can be “taught” at school or homeschool to some degree, to be really understood and integrated into one’s whole life, it really needs to be “caught.” And the place it is most likely to be caught is in the family and home… through children seeing parents who themselves LIVE and enjoy and adventure life-long learning and reading every day. In fact, adults who didn’t catch it in their childhood years often end up “catching” it from their spouses/partners who already love learning, or from other important adult relationships and/or activities that motivate them to read. Some adults even “catch it” from their kids 🙂

But if you aren’t “catching it” at home, you can still make a conscious decision to get involved in groups and activities that will motivate you (or the “reading hater” in your life) to become a real reader. And then LIVE IT and become a model for others. You can do it!

Do you have tips or anecdotes related to encouraging non-readers to become avid readers? We’d love to have you share them in the comments! Thank you!

Check out all the posts in this series, “When Children–and Adults Too–Hate Reading”:

Model Reading and Read Aloud
Distractions and Health Issues
Negative Influences and Reading as a Chore
Poor Methods of Teaching Reading
Lack of Reading Materials and Negative Attitudes
Dyslexia and Other Learning Differences
Practical Tips to Encourage Reading

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