The following is an extract from a typical conversation between two adolescents in 2015:
“What are you doing?”
“Not much, reading this book.”
“Do you have a test?”
“Why are you reading then?”
Tips on How to Develop Reading Among Teens
More and more teens think of reading as a chore or a work-related exercise. To them, the benefits from reading are grossly overstated; and in a world full of distractions, finding the time to sit down with a book takes too much effort. This should not be the case. In this day and age, when books for teens are easily accessibly online, teachers, parents and responsible adults should find ways to motivate teens to develop a love for reading. ChatEbooks lists down ways in which that can be done.
Encourage Reading as a Social Experience
Reading should be encouraged as a social activity. The best way to do this would be to set an example and share your own personal experiences with your teen. Talk to them about stories you liked, about authors you prefer, the influence certain literature has on society and so on. Too often we relegate teenagers as too young to enjoy the layers of brilliance in a text. But treating teenagers like young adults and sharing preferences with them will expose them to newer realms and encourage them to develop their own preferences. Gone are the days when there was only one copy of Catcher in the Rye in the library. There is a massive database of books for teens online, with a host of topics to feed their minds, bodies and souls. Teenagers demonstrate a reliance on technology, which should be used to develop interests. Therefore, encourage your teen to seek books online, and allow them access as long as they show some interest.
It’s no secret that one of the best ways to encourage teenagers is by challenging them or allowing them to compete. An exercise that can be particularly useful to inspire the reading of books for teens is to set a time in the week when a group of their friends (or other teen siblings) can gather together and discuss what they’ve read during the week. Their reading list can include comics, sports articles, important pieces of literature and poems – it could be anything. Just encourage the group to read as much as they can for bragging rights. It works surprisingly well. Initially, it may appear “tricky” just having them read for the sake of reading. However, the exercise of having to summarize the read literature then allows them to develop critical reading and speed reading skills. Over time, they’ll begin to discover (on their own) the world of knowledge buried in literature, and they’ll develop their own preferences and passions for reading.
Promote a Habit of Reading
Encourage the idea of reading as a daily routine. Have your teen come up with 60-minutes of free time during the day that can be dedicated solely for reading. Let them choose what they want to read about, from game magazines to fantasy novels. If you want more involvement in their reading selection, try telling them about the lives of important people they can discover through a variety of books for teens. At the end of the day however, your teen may prefer books that portray key teen issues like suicide, drug use and teen pregnancy. Don’t panic because these heavy topics can be valuable to their critical thinking. Just make sure that the books are age-appropriate. All-in-all, while it is important for you to build on your teen’s interests, don’t lose sight of your goal of promoting a habit of reading.
Research clearly shows that teens who read are more successful. The availability of numerous books for teens allows them to choose from a variety of topics that will spark their interest and even encourage open discussions with parents. Instilling a love of reading in your teen will open their eyes to so many possibilities – it is well worth the effort.