Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why Don't Boys Read More?

I have wondered with my own boys why they don't read more. My seventeen year-old son loves to read, but I struggle with my twelve year-old. My daughter read all of the time. I didn't have to bribe her, but I do have to bribe my twelve year-old.

I just returned from a family vacation. My seventeen year-old brought a friend. His friend told me he had only read four books for fun in his whole life. I was shocked and saddened. I expect my boys to read that many over the summer. I asked my son's friend and my twelve year-old why they don't like to read and got some of these responses.

1. It's boring.
2. We don't have books at my house (From the friend, NOT my son. We have a ton.)
3. I'm too lazy to go the library.
4. I can't find my library card (lame excuse in my opinion)
5. I'm too busy. (Don't get me started on over scheduling children)
6. I would rather hang out with friends.
7. It's not cool.
8. I would rather play outside.
9. There aren't any good books. (Also from the friend. We find good books at our house.)
10. I can't sit still long enough. (That is why I only ask one chapter a day from my 12 year-old)

There are a lot of excuses why some boys don't read. I don't accept  lame excuses at home. I also don't expect too much that I make reading miserable. I want my boys to read because they love it and if they don't love it, I want them to keep reading books until they find one they love. I don't believe reading and writing are only for girls. Both my husband and I have made it clear that reading and writing is for boys and girls and have led by example.

Add a comment on some of the lame excuses you have heard your sons or male students have for not reading. I would love to post some suggestions on how to counteract those excuses in another post.


Rebecca said...

I think shortened attentions spans due to TV and video games is the reason a lot of boys don't like to read. That said, I do not allow much TV and we don't have video games but my middle son still doesn't read as much as I think he should. He prefers doing things with his hands, like building or creating things. He tells me "I like to read, but I'd rather do other things."

Trudy said...


You are right! My boys would never admit that, but I know they spend more time with video games than books.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! My children are 11 and younger so I haven't run into the specific difficulty you have mentioned. We have the children in bed by 8:00 (9:30 in the summer) and they can stay up in bed for an additional hour if they choose to read - which they willingly do. And I read aloud with them almost every day. Funny thing is, our daughter reads less than our boys (she loves picture books but chapter books are required for school). What do you think is up with that??

xoxo michele

Jenilyn Collings said...

Great post! I grew up in a family that read a lot, but my youngest brother HATED to read for the longest time. I think he couldn't find books that he liked. He did love non-fiction sports books though and I've heard that often boys prefer non-fiction, but it's not usually offered to them. Also, this brother of mine did eventually discover crime thrillers and soon became a voracious reader. I think that sometimes we don't give boys the right books for them and every reader is different.

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