After spending Saturday at an Author & Illustrator school fair, I was so impressed with the excitement children felt about books and authors and illustrators. This school is doing something right—because these kids were passionate! Dragging parents by the hand to check out a new book, waiting patiently in a long line for an author to sign a book or a book bag. It was an “out-of-the-box” way for children to understand the world of books in a deeper, more meaningful way. And who knows? Maybe it sparked the flame for a future author.

My own four children, now young adults, love to read. But they weren’t always passionate readers as children. One, in particular, was a reluctant reader, but is now an avid reader. Here were a couple of things we did to help promote a life long love of books:

—Start reading aloud to your children as early as babyhood.

Well-loved books

Well-loved books

—Don’t stop reading to your kids! I used to sit in the hallway and read to my children while they were in their beds.

—Let your children and grandchildren see how much you love to read. Books, magazines, newspapers. Parents are teachers, too.

My current stack of reading material.

My current stack of reading material.

—Have lots of books in your home. We have bookshelves in every room. In the living room, there’s a corner of children’s books for the grandbabies. I used to have a big library box in the family room and would keep coming-and-going library books in it. (Helped to cut down on misplaced books and overdue fines!)

This is the children's book corner in our living room. Filled with my own children's favorites!

This is the children’s book corner in our living room. Filled with my own children’s favorites!

Even Tess loves to read in the book corner.

Even Tess loves to read in the book corner.

—Get your child a library card. And use it! Search for books that fit your child’s interests.


My well-worn, frequently used library card.

Can you think of some other crazy ideas that just might work or have worked in your home or school to encourage reluctant readers?

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