The problem, says former college professor Morris Freedman, is that too many students never learn to see reading as something they can do for fun. He offers these tips:
Start with short works—collections of short stories or poems. If your teen doesn’t like one poem or story, have him move on to another. There’s no law that says he has to read every short story in the collection.
Reading requires some patience—especially older works. Ask your teen to make a commitment to spend at least as much time on his reading as he would on watching the first game in a playoff series. “Many long books were the equivalent in their time of an ongoing television soap opera,” Freedman points out.
Once you start, keep reading. Some teens stop to look up every word they don’t know and soon lose any understanding of what the overall book is about. Unless a word reappears—and your teen can’t understand it—have him jot it down and then keep on reading. Later, he can look up the meanings of words he doesn’t understand.
Skip the introduction to a book, which is often long and confusing. Readers can go back to read the introduction when they’ve finished.
If your teen finds an author he likes, look for other books by the same writer. And remember that teens may enjoy reading biographies of authors whose works they enjoy.
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