Motivating the Reluctant Reader

Children are not born hating to read.  Preschoolers love to be read to and love to “read” their own books.  I can remember my own children when they were small poring over the same old books for half an hour at a time.  But sometime in early adolescence, many children who once delighted in reading turn into book haters.  So why do so many children become bibliophobes and can anything be done to turn reading back into a pleasure?

In an online article for, author LouAnne Johnson offers a list of reasons kids despise reading, some of which follow:

  1. They read slower than their peers and, thus, get left behind.
  2. They expect to be tested on what they read, and they expect to fail the test.
  3. They believe they’ll have to finish every reading selection, no matter how long or difficult.
  4. They believe they are too far behind to ever catch up.
  5. They lack interest in the assigned reading material.
  6. They are unable to retain what they’ve read.

Kids reading at a slow pace will get bored and their minds will wander.  As a result they are unable to concentrate on their reading, ensuring they will get even further behind their peers.  What is needed is not to slow down their reading, but rather to speed it up.  Speedreading enables students to speed their reading up 3 to 5 times their current rate.  In no time, they’ll be able to catch up with their peers.  What’s more, speedreading promotes greater comprehension, retention, and recall of what’s been read, giving them confidence and improving their chances of passing their tests.

Judith Barker

Bonnie James

About Advanced Reading Concepts

President and co-founder of Advanced Reading Concepts Speed Reading Plus, I'm passionate about helping people reach their career and education goals through superior reading skills.
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2 Responses to Motivating the Reluctant Reader

  1. Pingback: To Annotate or Not To Annotate/Brush Strokes or Picture? | Speed Reading Plus Blog!

  2. Thanks, Judith. Another reason why the teens I teach at Advanced Reading Concepts don’t like to read anymore is caused by those who should be developing a life time love of reading –some (not all) of their English teachers! These teachers require them to annotate the book in the margins as they read and are actually given points for how much they highlight as they read. They spend weeks dissecting the book. What should be an enjoyable experience with a masterpiece of literature is turned into a dreaded chore. Oh, I really wish these English teachers would take our course. We teach the students to overview and preview the book to get a sense of it and then reading it FOR FUN! As they read, they can make a pencil line in the margin to mark places to annotate later. Even if the book is assigned a bit at a time, I encourage an initial reading of the book (or at least big section) all at once first and then do the assignments. We do a webbing kind of note taking and I encourage them to take those notes to class and add to them during class discussion or lecture on the book. Yes to learn to become a writer requires seeing how other artists have put the words together and used symbolism –but not at the same time as getting the pictures the author painted for the reader. In my speed reading class, I read The Pearl in 20 minutes and loved it. Some of my students who hate Steinbeck had classes that spent 6 weeks on it! Would love to get some comments from readers and teachers


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