7 Tips for Getting Teenagers to Read in the Digital Age

Get Your Teenager to Read Books
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Getting teenagers interested in reading can be a challenge in the digital world. Computers, video games, and smartphones have largely replaced books in the lives of many teenagers.

Reading can play a major role in your teen’s success. Research studies repeatedly show that teens who read for fun perform better academically. Reading improves vocabulary and comprehension, which are vital skills for college as well as future employment.

Reading can also expand your teen’s horizons. Both fiction and nonfiction books alike can teach your teen about a variety of topics. Your teen can visit far off places, travel through time and explore new hobbies all by reading a book.

If you rarely see your teen pick up a book for fun, here are some steps you can take to encourage reading:

1. Limit Electronics Use

While e-readers serve many useful purposes, there are advantages to getting your teen to pick up an actual book. Kids need to give their eyes a break from staring at a screen sometimes. And, it’s often easy to forget about books on an e-reader, as compared to a hardcover book. Limit screen time to two hours per day and you’ll increase the chances your teen will pick up a book.

2. Be a Good Role Model

Telling your teen to read while you’re watching TV isn’t likely to be effective. Instead, be a good reading role model. Leave books in plain sight – rather than tucked away in a nightstand drawer – and show your teen that reading is a priority in your life.

3. Give Your Teen a Book as a Gift

Books make great presents. Buy your teen a book about hobbies, future career opportunities, or something else that she’s particularly interested in. Or, if you’re really not certain what to buy, give her a gift card to a bookstore.

4. Look at Books

Walking around a bookstore can be one of the best ways for your teen to develop an interest in reading.

Bookstores are usually filled with beautiful displays and books are organized by section, giving teens opportunities to explore different genres and topics.

5. Talk About Your Favorite Books

Talking about books can spark your teen’s interest. Discuss books that you enjoyed reading when you were younger, as well as books that you’ve found particularly inspirational or helpful as an adult. Ask your teen questions about books she’s read and talk about what she enjoys most about reading.

6. Visit the Library

Books can be expensive and many people overlook the fact that libraries continue to offer books for free. Take your teen to the library regularly to check out books. Make it a habit to use the free resources offered by your local library.

Many libraries offer activities specifically aimed at teens. Sometimes they have specific reading groups or offer presentations from authors. Libraries can also offer wonderful volunteer opportunities as well. Check with your library about any programs they may have that could be appealing to your teen.

7. Encourage Your Teen to Start a Book Club

Sometimes, schools or libraries may offer book clubs that cater to teens. But, the types of books they read may not be of interest to your teen. If there isn’t a good book club available, encourage your teen to start one. Book clubs are the best way to turn reading into a social activity.

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to starting a book club is finding members with similar interests. While one book club may cater to science fiction books only, another club may involve reading romantic books. Encourage your teen to find like-minded peers outside her immediate social circle. Meeting new people and talking about a variety of ideas can be one of the best ways to help your teen grow and learn.

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