How to get a Reluctant Reader to Read!

How to Help Your Reluctant Reader!

Every child is different, and there will no doubt be some that are a born reluctant reader. It is frustrating when you have to struggle with your child to do anything, but if you love to read and your child does not, it can be completely frustrating.






















If you feel that your child has the proper skills, but just does not want or like to read, there are lots of different strategies, devices,  materials, book genres, etc. that can help!  And even if you think that your child is possibly a struggling reader, either way, these are some very useful suggestions, strategies, and tools to get a reluctant reader to read!

Read Alouds
A child LOVES to be read to. I can walk into any classroom when a teacher is reading and 95% of the time the only noise is the voice of the teacher reading a favorite book!!! There is something magical about being read to and your child will probably love for you to read to them (or use a CD of a book.

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Try Magazines
Magazines can sometimes interest reluctant readers because the articles are short and sweet. Most reluctant readers want books less than 100 pages, big fonts, with some pictures or sketches to break up the text so a magazine is perfect. Now you just need to find the topics that are interesting to your child. Once you know the type of topics your child is somewhat interested in, you can purchase a magazine subscription!    There are so, so many different magazines to select! Here are just a few:


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Try purchasing a tablet, or if you have a table, try purchasing ebooks.  Kids love technology. Use that love to develop a love of reading, too. There are good electronic books (e-books) that kids can read on a Kindle,  an Apple IPad, an Amazon Fire,  a laptop computer, etc.

Most popular books for a Reluctant Reader
Finding that book that will spark that interest may take time, but you’ll find it! There are many different authors and genres to try. Most of the books on my list let you read (or listen to) the first page of the book which gives you a good indication that your child will like the book before you purchase it.

A Book Club
Once a week, the whole family could read the same book and discuss it or everyone read a different book and share a part of the book. You could also set up a book club with a group of kids and take turns sponsoring it with neighbors and friends.

Try Books on Tape
Listening as you read along with a book helps all types of reading skills. Some of my most reluctant readers want to read audiobooks! Here is one example of the CD and book. I LOVE this story:

Wonder Audio CD
Book of Wonder

Promote Reading
There is so much to do, places to go, school, work, etc. etc. and sometimes that little segments of time are all you need to throw in a reading promotion without your child even realizing what you’re doing as it’s actually fun! Have your child see you read, read to your child, have books around your home, visit the library, etc. etc.

Try ebooks
You can purchase ebooks and you can get some free online. Try Epic for free ebooks of all different genres.

Keep Trying DIfferent Books
Try reading a page of some of the books that your child shows a slight interest in and let her/him pick the favorite book! When you visit Amazon, you usually can read the first page of a book.


Reading in bed

This is a great way to get kids reading. Since almost no kid wants to go to sleep right away, give your child the choice between going to bed or staying up late to read a book in bed. Breaking the rules might just motivate your child to read.


Buy A Reading Headlamp!!    
Skip buying a reading lamp. Buy a headlamp—the light is brighter and covers a wider area. Then kids can also read in the car at night (including during longer trips where it’s tempting to let them overdose on video games or movies), in a tent or in a cabin at camp, or when staying over with friends or relatives.

Read Books with Movies
Want to see the movie? Read the book first. Or vice-versa. In my experience, reluctant readers LOVE when they know that they can compare the book to a movie. Questions to ask are: What was in the book that wasn’t in the movie? Did the movie match the way your child imagined things? Were the characters how you pictured them? Which one did your child like better, and why? (In my opinion, usually, the book beats the movie hands-down.)




Big Print Books
Because the big print books have bigger fonts, a reluctant reader enjoys reading them more than the smaller print books. These books also appear to be larger because there are more pages and it makes some kids feel prouder because their book appears to be larger.  I know that seems strange!!! Here are a few big print books for some popular books:



There are many ways to help a reluctant reader to read. You can try introducing some of these ideas a little at a time or try one idea right after the other. You know your child. They’ll let you know if they want you to give it a rest!!

There is nothing more rewarding to me in my job than when I have helped a child find a book that they love! And then I keep at it to continue finding that perfect book! For more suggestions on how to get a boy who doesn’t like to read or to try some other suggestions of genres click here.  It does take time and a lot of patience!

Check out some of my other popular posts below:

As always, please leave a comment or question below or email me at I’d love to hear from you!


  1. Great post! I can totally relate to that and these types of resources really are a great way to get reluctant readers to read.

    It’s so easy to just forget about reading with a ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude. Your tips definitely help and I think it’s vital that more people realise how healthy reading actually is.

  2. We get the Kids National Geographic, my son can’t wait for it to come out, a reading head lamp was a recent addition – but a fantastic tool! If you have a lazy reader, this will be a game changer. Also, set the example as parents. Read in their company, talk about what you have read – they see it’s important and will copy you.

  3. These days with so many electronics in our lives, it’s tough to get kids to read. We started reading to our kids the day we brought them home from the hospital. We read to them every night before bed and gave them books in their cribs to play with. Just introducing reading at a young age is so important. I agree with so many things you said, try magazines, e-books, audiobooks. These are all great ideas to get kids engaged in reading. There are a lot of distractions, so anything we can do to help our kiddos along is great. Thanks for sharing this post.

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