Now, it seems to me that often the only books a reluctant reader is exposed to are the ones that we are required to read in English class. This can sometimes be the downfall of reluctant readers because the books we read in class are not always very interesting (no offense Mrs. Matthews). Especially if said books are not at the right reading level for some (or most) of the students in the class. This just makes reluctant readers more reluctant because their perception of reading is based on the books they are forced to read, which may not always be the best book for them.
On that note, here is a guide for those of you who are asking yourselves, “well, what is the best book for me?” In order to answer this you must do a bit of exploring. My tips:
1. Make some important decisions. Decide what type of book you would like to read. Fiction or Non-fiction? Contemporary (modern) or Historical fiction? Classics or new releases? Lots of violence or none at all? Or maybe just a little bit? Lower level or higher level? Find your preference and remember that it’s okay to change your mind. You are your own reader.
2. Find your genre. Books can be categorized a million different ways. Think about some you might like. Are you a hopeless romantic? Find a boy-meets-girl kind of book. Do you love sports? There are stories out there about every kind of sport on the planet. Do you dream about fantasy worlds with dragons and fairies? I bet it’s not hard to find those. Books have no limit whatsoever, so find your perfect world and then a book to match.
3. Authors. Something that can also help is finding an author you particularly like. With this you can either find books by the same author or find books by authors who are similar. If you are a guy looking for a good book, it might be best to check out the ones written by guys. Girls, same thing. Depending on your preference, of course. Often I find that kids relate better to books written by people of the same gender as themselves. But of course, this is not always the case (my favorite author is a man). So just explore and see what you like.
4. Surf the shelves. Probably the best thing you can do to find a great book that fits you is to walk among the shelves at the library and pick up anything that looks even remotely interesting. Go to whatever section you think is appropriate (adult, teen, kids) and just look at the spines. See if a title pops out at you. Grab it. Look at the cover. Does it look like something you might be interested in? If so, open it. If not, OPEN IT. Find the summary on the inside flap (or on the back). Read it. Does it seem interesting? Skim the first few pages or so. If it doesn’t look interesting, you can put it back. Repeat this process until you find a book. Go home and read it. If you like it, congratulations! If not, figure out why you didn’t like it and try again. Sooner or later you will find a great book.
5. While you read… think about what you like and don’t like about the book. Do you like the adventure, but not the way it was written? Find another book about the same topic, but by a different author. Were there too many words you just couldn’t understand? Try a book at a lower reading level. I know this can be a tedious process, but think of all the things you learn about yourself along the way. And trust me, once you find a book you love, reading becomes much easier, enjoyable, and rewarding.
If you still need more help, click here to go to a website that finds books you might like based on preferences you can set yourself.
“The things you are looking for are in the world, but the only way you will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book.” -Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451