How to Encourage Your Child to Fall in Love with Books

My son is falling in love with books. It’s glorious to see.

Recently, he has been seen walking around with his nose in a book. A sure sign of love! Another time, he was seen reading by night light for at least two hours after he went to bed. A third sign was seen when, at the shops, said child was heard to remark, “I’d rather have a book.” The final piece of evidence was provided by the innocent question, “Is it okay to take my book into the party?” The evidence is strong!

The wonderful authors, delightful illustrators and of course, the child himself, deserve much of the credit. I however, am claiming at least 29% of the credit for this love affair for these 29 reasons. I may not be humble, but I am generous, so I’m going to share my 29 points of encouragement with you. May the love affairs begin!

29 Ways to Encourage a Love of Books:

1 – Don’t force your child to read.

2 – Let your child choose a book at the bookshop. Visit the biggest, loveliest bookshop you can find.

3 – Watch the movie or go to the theatre, either before (especially for new readers) or after you finish the book

4 – Visit the library regularly.

5 – Establish a “Rest or Read” time.

6 – Go for a drive. There’s nothing else to do in the car.

7 – Turn off screens. Children will rarely choose a book when the TV is on.

8 – Fill your house with books. Whatever you can manage. Make them an integral part of your home.

9 – Limit choice. If your child doesn’t know what to read, offer them a choice between 2 or 3 books. It’s less overwhelming.

10 – Read and review a book for your child if they’re unsure.

11 – Listen to audiobooks.

12 – Offer an easy read. They’re fun, easy and confidence boosting.

13 – Series, series, series! A good series will have any child coming back again and again.

14 – Celebrate each book (or reading session) with a Star Chart or Reading Log.

15 – Model a reading life.

16 – Read aloud to your child every day (or as often as you can).

17 – Start reading the book to them. Close the book at an interesting point. Hand them the book.

18 – Let them stay up late reading in bed.

19 – Follow your child’s interests. Help them find books that they’ll love.

20 – Strew picture books around your house. They’re irresistible, even to older kids.

21 – Collect book memorabilia. T-shirts, socks, bags, posters, notebooks, etc with their favourite books.

22 – Provide play opportunities to re-enact or re-imagine. Dress ups and figurines.

23 – Go on an adventure or create something to explore an idea from the book.

24 – Listen to authors or talks about books (eg Read-Aloud Revival)

25 – Create a reading nook.

26 – Let them tell you about their book. Ask good questions. Not droll ones.

27 – Join a book club or storytime. Enjoy books with others.

28 – Read or listen to the first book in a series and then offer the second book.

29 – Take a book for your child with you everywhere. Make it a habit.

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