How to raise a reader when you hate reading, 5 tips

How-to raise a reader, when you HATE reading!

Everywhere you look you see the importance of instilling a love of reading in your child. However…what if you HATE reading?

Is it possible to still raise a child that loves books when you’d rather get a root canal then even go into a bookstore?

The answer is Yes! It is possible to raise a reader even if you hate reading. How to raise a reader when you hate reading, 5 tips I am here to tell you I am living proof it is possible. As you may have read before I love books. My mother on the other hand…well she’s the example above.

When I was growing up and had my nose in a book, she had informed me she never read a single book from cover to cover *gasp!

I never gave much thought to this until the other day when she was keeping the kids for a sleep over and she said, “Tell them to bring a book so they can read to me.”

As I repeated the instructions to the children my brain went click! Wait a minute! You hate reading, how on earth did you raise a reader? So I asked her.

Today I am sharing the tips I gleaned from our discussion with you.

Here we go!

5 Tips to raising a reader, if you hate reading:

Tip # 1. Discover why you hate reading.

Some reasons you might hate reading are:

  • were never encouraged to read
  • didn’t have access to books
  • didn’t have time to read
  • or struggle with reading in its own.

Once you understand your own aversion to reading, correct the problem with your own children-if possible.

For example, encourage them to read books, encourage them to tell you about the story they are reading. Ask questions about the characters, what is going on in the story, where is it taking place etc. This helps your child develop their reading comprehension and educates you on what types of books they are reading.

This is especially helpful in the teenage years as communication can get a bit rocky at this age. You tend to get a lot of “I don’t know”, “nothing” etc.

Hint: to combat this ask open ended questions! Ones that can not be answered by yes or no or nothing…lol

Tip # 2. Expose them to books.

If you are not a reader it can be hard to justify spending money on books, especially in this economy where money is tight. This is when the Library becomes your best friend.

Take time to go to the library, trust me if you haven’t visited one in years you will be amazed at how they have changed. They are no longer this quiet, dark, stuffy place. They are bright cheerful and even offer WiFi, so you can bring your phone/tablet and not read, *wink – while your child discovers the wonders of shelves and shelves of books.

Many libraries now offer free programs, read aloud, circle time and crafting opportunities for children or all ages. Check the schedule or ask a librarian and they will be happy to help. You can even get a free tour and they will teach your child how to find different books and library cards are free!

Tip # 3. Audio books.

Explore listening to audio books with your child. They can follow along in the book, do crafts, or color while being read to. There are so many benefits to allowing your children to color, visit this site for 13 of them.

READ  Do You Have What it Takes to be a Homeschooler?

Listening to audio books is a great way for children to be exposed to books they may not pick up on their own. Here is a great list of audio books for your children, from Modern Mrs. Darcy. 

Tip # 4. Try a reading challenge.

A reading challenge works really well for competitive children or those that like rules/lists.

My children thrive in this environment. Challenges, although set boundaries or give guidelines, allow them to choose their own books. Which helps with self-confidence and gives a great sense of accomplishment when complete!

You could even offer a fun reward when they have complete the challenge, like a trip to the book store! (Kidding!!)

Tip #5. Take turns reading aloud.

Please note this is the only tip where you are reading as well. Choose a book you both might be interested in and take turns reading out loud. You can have a lot of fun with this, by giving the characters accents, silly voices, drawing and creating artwork to go along with your book.

Make it fun. Choose a comfortable place to read, a quiet setting or perhaps turn it into a tea party or a before bedtime ritual.


Raising a reader doesn’t have to be impossible but it might mean stepping outside your personal comfort zone and into a bookstore/library 😉

Using these exact steps, my mom was able to not only raise me to love books but continue to encourage my children to read. It is a lovely gift she passed on to my children.

Thanks to her encouragement and enthusiasm my two not only read books like crazy but create, write and make up their own stories to tell. Letting their imaginations take flight-in this momma’s eyes, that’s priceless!

Raising a reader is priceless, 5 tips on how to raise a reader when you hate reading. Click To Tweet

Now it’s your turn: Do you love to read or hate it? How do you encourage your reluctant readers to read? Let me know below! I read and respond to every comment, Thanks for reading!

Linked to: The Homeschool Nook / Let’s Be Friends / Finishing Strong / The Pretty Pintastic Party / Small Victories Sunday Linkup / Motivation Monday

Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a 30+ crazy married momma of two, homeschooling, working and living life! Between homeschooling and working outside the home, you can find me curled up with a good book or cooking in the kitchen. Read more about me!

18 thoughts on “How-to raise a reader, when you HATE reading!

    1. Hello Krista,

      Thanks for stopping by, my pre-teen daughter designed that reading challenge. Thank you for making her day by saying you liked it.

      My two do not like audio books, oddly but I know many have great success with them. I hope to try sneaking them in again soon.

      Lastly thank you for including a link to your blog, I need to find a commenting system that has space for it.

  1. My older ones spend all their spare time reading, one of them walks and reads…some may call her obsessed. Because I love bpooks so much and our home is chock full of them I assumed it would simply happen that all my children would enjoy reading. Not so actually, my seven year old really struggles and absolutely doesn’t read for pleasure. She does however nag me to read all. the. time. to her and listens to audio books at every opportunity, especially non fiction. They are my God-send 🙂

    1. Wow, that child is talented, if I tried to read and walk i’d knock myself out! 🙂 It is interesting how different children can be, I am glad to hear/see you have found a way to introduce your child to the wonderful world of books even though your 7yo doesn’t read for pleasure.
      Thanks for stopping in Claire, I always enjoy reading your comments.

    2. I sometimes walk and read my eBooks. It is so wonderful that your child loves to read. I grew up with a friend that loved reading. He ended up being a very, very intelligent man (now). He knows everything…literally.

      1. Thank you Katina for reading and commenting. I guess I just can’t multi task in that way. I try texting and walking and have taken myself out with a post or two. lol Kuddo’s for that 🙂

  2. I never thought about a non-reader trying to raise a reader. My grandmother and my mom both love reading, so I was raised around women who almost always had their noses in books. I love reading. It’s how I spent the weekends as a teen.

    I encourage my 2 year old to read with me. She’s got tons and tons of books (my mom always buys her books every time she visits). And we make trips to the library as well. Sometimes my daughter will sit with her stuffed animals and pretend to read to them. It’s the cutest thing, and it makes me so happy that she likes reading. I hope she never loses her love of reading (even if it pretend reading right now). 🙂

  3. These are really good tips, Jen! I love reading, and read to my boys so much when they were young – it was my favorite part of our bedtime routine. Now that they’re grown, they aren’t big on “stories” anymore, but they read the newspaper from cover to cover and love to discuss the things they read.

  4. Thanks for being supportive Kelly, I love your blog 🙂 That is great they still like to read. It is nice when they talk about things they’ve read, especially the newspaper-then I don’t have to read it, haha! It is probably one of the few things I prefer to skip.

    1. Thank you Crystal! We love Jules Verne. We used Around the World in 80 days for Geography 🙂
      Btw I wanted to tell you my daughter loved your eBook, on painting essentials. I look forward to watching her try it out. She is currently doing a drawing challenge. So soon!
      Thanks for commenting!

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