“If you have a reader who doesn’t think they enjoy reading, I wholeheartedly recommend my little sneak attack. The key points to nail are:

  • Make sure to pick a genre and story you know they’ll love—ideally one that has a movie to go along with it.
  • Start out by reading to them (you’re doing the work here!) until you know you’ve got them totally, irrevocably hooked. Wide, glazed eyes and sagging-open jaw are clues that it’s the perfect time to complain that your throat hurts and you simply cannot read one more sentence.
  • Have a reward built in. A later bedtime is a easy one if you typically do your reading at night like us. A few sleepy mornings now and then are worth assuring your kid becomes a lifetime reader.
  • Offer them a book light. This is a necessity if they’re sharing a room with a sibling—and it’s somehow more thrilling to read with the bedroom lights off.
  • Build up the movie night as a major event. When he was first starting out, this was a big motivator for my son to keep going, especially for the thicker books. I wouldn’t cave in and let him watch it ahead of time, either. He had to finish the book first.

Watching the movie after reading the book is also fun because you get to compare the book to the movie with your kid, teaching them critical thinking skills they can use in school and life. And you get to prove to your kid that the book really is always better than the movie. A truth that every proud book nerd knows.”