Teens & Reading
Some teenagers like to read. Others don’t. It’s that simple. Or is it?
As adults, we know that reading is important and we obviously want to make sure that the teenagers in our lives grow into adulthood with all the skills they need to succeed. But how can we encourage them…safely?
Before we list ways to encourage teen reading that may work, here are a few tactics that likely will not.
Try to avoid…
- Pressuring, nagging, or bribing. Encourage, don't hound.
- Criticizing what they choose to read. Forbid as little as possible- accept differences of opinion.
- Lavishing too much praise. Show interest, but don't make a big deal out of it. They'll see right through you.
Ways to encourage teens to read...
- Set an example. Let teens see you reading for pleasure.
- Make reading materials available. Leave books, magazines, and newspapers around.
- Acknowledge their mature interests. Suggest some adult reading you think they can handle or that may interest them.
What can teens get out of reading? They have to get something out of it, right? Through reading they can:
- Become an expert. An expert on any subject they like—from sports statistics to spelunking, coins to carburetors, ballerinas to barbecues, or anything in between.
- Live dangerously. Through reading teens can share the challenges, fears, thrills, and achievements of those they are reading about - without the risk.
- Have a few laughs. Many teens will enjoy sitting down with a book by their favorite comedian or a collection of jokes or cartoons.
- See the world. Without leaving town, teens can visit places that fascinate them.
- Travel through time. Historical fiction and science fiction can move a reader back and forth in time.
- Use their brains. Teens may enjoy solving a mystery, outwitting a crafty villain, or thinking through a perilous situation.
- Get some free advice. Lots of novels feature teenage characters that have problems and pressures common to many teens, believe it or not.
- Discover new interests. Through reading, teens may develop an interest in something they knew nothing about before.
- Find a cause. Teens can get smart on an issue that matters to them.
- Escape. Teens can escape noise, tension, or boredom by escaping into a book.
Teen Read Week is October 18-24, 2015. The purpose of Teen Read Week, created in 1998, is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.
In recognition of Teen Read Week, the Independence Public Library is hosting an after-hours Teen Read-In for those students in 6th grade and up. Activities will include mish-mash book skits, telling ghost stories, book character charades, scavenger hunts, building forts, reading, snacks, and more! Join us after hours from 7:00-10:00 pm. The event is free. Please call the library to sign up @ 319-334-2470.