Monday, September 15, 2014

Reluctant Reader

Spending time with my younger stepsister this summer was the first time that I'd really spent any time with a kid who "hates reading".

I don't know if that is just a thing she says because she thinks it's cool but since I was raised going to libraries and bookstores the idea that someone could "hate reading" is beyond me.

As a reader and a writer of MG and YA having this 13 year old stepsister who isn't a reader is eyeopening. 

Even my father, who has a totally different brain than me (math and science vs. art and literature) and would likely have been diagnosed with ADD if he'd been born later, likes reading. My dad reads all the nonfiction books, obsessively, about whatever subject he is into at the time. 

Even though my dad isn't as able to form connections with fictional characters the way I am and I don't read books about rocket surgery, herbology, and Texas Hold Em the way he does I was still able to benefit from his reading habits. My dad's idea of spending quality time together is going to a bookstore where he can look at rocket surgery books while I get lost in the fiction section. Then he sits in one of those comfy chairs in the middle of the Barnes and Noble reading the books he's probably going to buy. Eventually I find him, holding a stack of books I want to buy, and since he is Dad he adds my stack of books to his.

Even though my dad isn't a fiction person he's raised readers, lovers of words and books. But my 13 year old stepsister, dad's stepdaughter is different. She doesn't like reading. 

I always send her books I think she will like, books I've liked, books with a lot of buzz around them. If the book has been made into a movie she won't read it because why would she go to that amount of work when there is a movie she can watch? 

This weekend she discovered The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han and at least for a week we will share a common love of reading, a love of books. She can't to read the next book. I am so excited that she found a book she likes and hopeful that she continues to discover that she likes to read.

Do you have experience with a reluctant reader? Was there a book that turned them into a reader?

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