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Do your teens read? Please help me with mine!

(18 Posts)
MaryRaddy Tue 30-Jun-20 16:41:03

My two very bright grammar school teens aged 13and 14 refuse to read. I'm a bit gutted to be honest. I read all the time and we have lots and lots of books but they've both dug their heels in and refuse to read.
Can anyone advise me how to enthuse them to read? They did read in primary but not now. Help!

OP’s posts: |
PlanDeRaccordement Tue 30-Jun-20 16:43:36

What have you tried? Will they not even read something on a subject they are interested in?

Redridinghoood Tue 30-Jun-20 16:46:40

DD has started listening to audiobooks online (she's on her 3rd Jane Austen!). Worth a try? It's less effort than reading, and they can do it while doing other things.

ILiveInSalemsLot Tue 30-Jun-20 16:47:30

You can’t really make them. Maybe bribery might help?
No screen time til after reading for half an hour?
Do they have phones or gadgets at bedtime? My teens aren’t allowed phones at bedtime so they usually read as there’s nothing else to do.
Let them read what they want.

If they really don’t want to, then you’re probably on to losing this one.

MaryRaddy Tue 30-Jun-20 16:48:17

What Ive tried so far:

General discussion about the importance of reading
Taking them to see authors at festivals Giving them fairly light easily read fiction to capture their imagination (they wont even open the book)
Talking about the books I read

OP’s posts: |
ILiveInSalemsLot Tue 30-Jun-20 16:50:09

Short stories might be worth a try.

TerrifiedandWorried Tue 30-Jun-20 16:50:44

DS1 (13) is reading Lee Mack's autobiography - he hasn't read for ages and this has really enthused him. Maybe nonfiction is the way to go?

TerrifiedandWorried Tue 30-Jun-20 16:54:01

Some people just don't like reading though.

bookmum08 Tue 30-Jun-20 16:54:52

Not everyone enjoys reading for pleasure. My 70 something Dad presumably read books in his school days but in my 45 years of life I have never seen him with a novel. He does read magazines and books about trains etc.
Does it matter?

iklboo Tue 30-Jun-20 16:56:04

Would they read if it was on a kindle? They might prefer devices to real books (philistines).

Pinkblueberry Tue 30-Jun-20 16:58:44

General discussion about the importance of reading
Taking them to see authors at festivals Giving them fairly light easily read fiction to capture their imagination (they wont even open the book)
Talking about the books I read

All of these things just make it a thing you want them to do... and teens hate doing what you want them to. It makes it all a bit of a chore. It’s so hard because a love of reading at that age really needs to come from them. I definitely second audio books. What films do they like? Maybe they would be interested in exploring similar genres? Also non-fiction - my DH really isn’t a reader at all but will read sports auto-biographies when travelling on a plane or train. Graphic novels? I just think for reluctant readers of that age regular fiction will never be the best starting point - they’ve had lots of exposure with it at school so if they say they don’t like it you simply have to take their word for it. Not everyone loves reading fiction and I think that should be ok.

PlanDeRaccordement Tue 30-Jun-20 17:02:18

Ok,
Stop talking about the importance of reading. Stop giving them light fiction books to read. Stop taking them to author things.

Start talking to them about what interests them. Tell them reading should be for fun, and a good book for them will be easy to read and be about something that interests them. If a book is boring, give it twenty pages but never feel guilty closing it and not reading the rest.

There is a book for every interest. You might have more luck with nonfiction that lines up with whatever they are passionate about. My DD for example loved historical fashion, so she reads books like royal fashion from 1500-1800 (half of it is pictures) or a books called “how to read a dress” and she chatters on about first bustle period, second bustle period. She also likes drawing, so that meant a figure drawing art textbook. Which she is working her way through.

samlovesdilys Tue 30-Jun-20 17:03:22

Mine read but always have. My 15YO reads biographies - sportsmen and comedians mainly, but also the odd thriller and some 'teen' books like 'the hate you give'. The 12YO reads fantasy and historical fiction mainly, some graphic novels and teen books too. They both also love Calvin and Hobbes!!! I think it helps if they find something that links to an interest, they use both kindles and 'real' books, the pre-holidays trio to Waterstones is always enjoyed!

Redridinghoood Tue 30-Jun-20 18:25:55

Do they like Manga?

PlanDeRaccordement Tue 30-Jun-20 18:32:43

Manga- I do like that, so true that even graphic novels, comics can be good reading as well!

ChaoticCatling Tue 30-Jun-20 18:48:50

My grammar school teen reads web serials on his tablet. He mostly reads sci-fi, they are released a chapter at a time.

OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow Tue 30-Jun-20 19:24:42

It’s tough,3 out of my 4 were avid readers, one just wouldn’t, hated being read to, hated it as a teen, tolerated graphic novels. Now in his twenties is devouring everything and anything, from 40s noir to Dostoevsky. It’s no use pushing them, if they come to it great, if you can find something to pique their interest. Sadly, some people just dont enjoy it.

MrsJemimaDuck Tue 30-Jun-20 19:25:21

Have you tried graphic novels or nonfiction? Or books that have been made into films they have already seen?

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