She HATES Reading.

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Special thanks to the for lending us this image

Special thanks to the for loaning us this perfect image


Hates reading.

To an avid reader like me that assertion sounds like she hates living, or hates vacations, or hates spending time with close friends.

How is it that a Freshman in college, after 13 years of reputedly solid public schooling hates reading? It’s worth thinking about.

If I were going to bring somebody to hate reading, I’m thinking it would have to start with teaching her pretty much everything that real reading wasn’t… like:

  • Reading is what she does because other people make her do it.
  • Reading is never fun. It’s drudgery.
  • Reading is not personal. It’s not about her and her life and what she values.
  • Reading is always followed by questions and tests and other high stress assaults that also have nothing to do with who or what she cares about.
  • Reading is almost always focused on something she’d never pick to read for herself. She would never pick a textbook to read, unless she was excruciatingly bored, and perhaps not even then.
  • Reading is over when somebody else says its over. Books MUST be finished and back on the shelf in some time frame created by other people.
  • Reading is an uncomfortable and foreign thing to do.

That would do it okay.

I, on the other hand, work all day reading different things that are mostely fascinating. At lunch I take my latest “workday” book (checked out from the local library, usually a mystery) to keep me company. When I go home, I read news and science magazines and before bed I read from my “home” book (usually a mystery). Interspersed with all of this I am frequently and fulfillingly enagaged with my colleagues whom I admire and my family whom I love, sometimes sharing what one of us is reading.

I’ll bet she’d love that part, anyway.

What on earth could we do that would relight that heart-warming and brilliant fire for reading that she had when she was five? How could we help her see that the brightest of all fires can burn even brighter if stoked with delightful and captivating books?

If you have any ideas, please offer a comment, below.