How to Develop a Reading Culture in Kids

Educators tell us that one of the most important things we can do, in our efforts to improve our kids’ prospects for educational success, is to develop a reading culture in them. That, in other words, is all about getting the kids to love reading: so that they can read even when they don’t have to. What happens, when kids develop such an innate love for reading, is that they tend to fare better in their studies. They also tend to fare better in life after school. The challenge, of course, is in how to (practically) develop a reading culture in kids.

A very basic thing that you can do, when seeking to develop a reading culture in kids, is to simply explain to them the benefits of reading – the benefits of being a well-read person. You need to explain this in a language that the kids can understand. And you need to repeat your message often enough, until it actually gets into the heads of the kids and until it actually sticks there. You can point out that, for instance, well read people are often in a better situation to identify the opportunities around them, and to take advantage of them. Even in the worst circumstances, a well read person, for instance, will have an easier time when, say, making a food stamp application in the state of Georgia (something that nowadays is best done online, on the Georgia Compass website. A well read person is, better still, in a good position to identify job openings, or to leverage on his or knowledge that is acquired through reading to figure out which industries are likely to be hiring soon.

Another basic thing that you can do, to develop a reading culture in kids, is to avail to them appropriate reading materials. These need to be reading materials that are actually enjoyable to the kids. The mistake we make is that of presenting kids with challenging reading materials before they are ready for them. Don’t make that mistake: instead, provide kids with age-appropriate reading materials – the sorts of reading materials that satisfy their curiosity at their respective ages.

You can go to yet another level, when seeking to develop a reading culture in kids, and ensure that you serve as a role model to them. If the kids notice that you love reading, and that you are always reading something, they are inclined to start imitating you: a process that culminates in them developing a genuine love for reading.

How to Get Maximum Enjoyment from Reading Novels

You can do several things to get maximum enjoyment from reading novels. This is against a background where reading of novels can either be a chore to be endured, or a major source of pleasure (which in fact has to be moderated).

To get maximum enjoyment from reading novels, you need to ensure that the novels you read are those that are centered on subjects that really interest you. But you shouldn’t also shy away from developing new interests. The new interests you develop can be derivatives of your old interests. If, for instance, you love cold war espionage novels, you may find it easy to develop an interest in detective novels. Similarly, if you love law enforcement novels, you may find yourself paradoxically getting interested in novels that revolve around politics.

To get maximum enjoyment from reading novels, you need to visualize the scenes described in the novels. This can, admittedly, be easier when the scenes described as scenes you are familiar with. But if the scenes described are, say, scenes in correctional facilities and you have never been to one such facility (thank God), then it can be hard to fully visualize what is described. The saving grace here is in the fact that most novelists are so good at describing scenes and laying out plots that they can help you visualize even things that you don’t have real life experiences of.

At another level, to get maximum enjoyment from reading novels, you need to make an effort to read fast. The idea is to cover considerable ground every day and this is admittedly easier when the novels you are reading are filled with suspense and when the novels you are reading are truly interesting. But you have to appreciate that the structure of some novels is such that the earlier chapters tend not to be very interesting, but then they become more interesting as the plot unfolds.