Reading Stereotypes

Over the years I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of guys of all ages tell me that they don’t like to read. Whenever I hear this, I say Hogwash! Guys often feel this way because they are often referring to a narrow, stereotypical definition of reading – usually fictional novels.

EVERYONE Likes To Read

When I suggest

that they widen their definition of reading to include comic books, magazines, websites, newspapers, nonfiction, etc., they often agree that they don’t hate to read those types. For the stubborn ones, I ask them to tell me about their hobbies, favorite musicans, sports figure etc,.. Then I suggest, "What if I told you that I had a book right here all about your favorite topic? Would you still say that you hated to read it?"

What Can Adults Do? (quick answer = build their confidence)

Parents and teachers must teach boys that they are readers. Simply encouraging them to read whatever items are of interest to them will show your respect for their tastes and in turn, build their confidence and attitude. The more confiendant a by feels about himslef as a reader. the more likely he will look for opprotunities to read more and eventually branch out into other genres. 

The Bottom Line

  • Respect what they like to read
  • Talk with them often about their reading prefernces
  • Build their confidence as a reader

Your Thoughts and Comments?

Please let us know below…

Posted in: Content

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Chuck

    “To each his own.” We all have different tastes in what we eat, drink, watch and read. Vanessa_cruz was right in saying that they have the right to choose their own adventure in reading. Bring your kids when you go to a bookstore. Ask them what interests them. As a parent, don’t impose books for them to read. Respect what they like and support them.

  • jwaage

    My husband’s parents were told that he was a slow reader. As a young boy, he refused to read in class and would do anything to get out of reading at home or doing homework. As it turns out, it wasn’t that he didn’t like to read, it was that he didn’t like to read the Ramona books that they were reading at school! Instead, his father bought him the Hobbit which he tore through quickly! Now, you can’t get him to put his books down. He, like many other boys, were labeled as bad readers and became discouraged with reading because he was forced to read about something that did not interest him. Finding encouragement and topics of interest are essential factors in getting boys to read and love it!

  • Mike McQueen

    Well said Charles – "As a parent, don’t impose books for them to read. Respect what they like and support them." I think it is good advice for teachers and librarians as well.

    Great insights, jwaage. It kills me to hear boys getting discouraged with reading. I’d be curious to hear more about your husband reading interests now as an adult. talk to him and see if you’d be interested in putting his thoughts and comments on our website.

  • Elysabeth47

    Absolutely – building their confidence, allowing them to read what they have an interest in and not forcing them to read novels or other things as required reading all help. I was lucky in that both my boys love to read. My daughter on the other hand really doesn’t like to read. She will read a few pages and put the book or whatever down and may never pick it up again. Doesn’t matter what the material is (except I must say here that she really enjoyed my first book before it was in the published/illustrated stage and asked when the second one would be ready which is good), she just really does not like to read. She never liked being read to when she was little. She didn’t like sitting in our laps and looking at books or anything like that. So I figure when she gets older, she’ll wish she had found something she enjoyed to read because there will be so many voids to fill and reading is an excellent way to do that.

    Who knows? Maybe one day she will shock me and just start reading and never stop – lol but then again, she is now 16 years old and the chance of that happening seems to be slim.

    Good posting – E :)

  • Emma Madison

    Parents and teachers must teach boys that they are readers….
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  • Emma Madison

    The more likely he will look for opprotunities to read more and eventually branch out into other genres.
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