5 Ways to Encourage Young People to Read: A Christian Perspective

Updated on July 9, 2020
Cheryl E Preston profile image

Cheryl is an avid reader and works with local libraries to encourage young people to enjoy good books.

Read to children
Read to children

1. Set an Example

James Holzhauer Is currently the number two Jeopardy champion of all time. He was on the program for more than three weeks and has earned over one million dollars. He is well-versed in many subjects and says his vast wealth of knowledge comes from reading children’s literature. If you devour every book you can find and are a walking encyclopedia, this will be the best incentive for others. When I was younger, I always answered more questions in Vacation Bible School and won the most gifts at Tupperware parties. I knew the answers to the questions because I was always reading.

If you desire your children to be well-versed and enjoy reading, the first thing you should do is to be a living example in front of them. My grandmother was always reading the newspaper, her Sunday school lessons, the Bible, or Bible-related material. She only had a sixth-grade education, but you would never know it by the vast knowledge she displayed. Reading to your children at home a well as volunteering to read to your child's class at school will also set an example to be followed.

Library books
Library books | Source

2. The Library and Book Mobile

Encourage your children and teens to utilize their school library as well as libraries in your city or town. Make sure they have a library card and teach the importance of returning items on time and in good condition my two youngest grandchildren obtained their library cards in the summer of 2019 at the ages of seven and eight. They should be able to check out three or four items at once, and it's understandable they will want to get video games, CDs and DVDs. This is part of today's culture but emphasize to them to be sure and check out books as well. Be on the lookout for discontinued reading material that may be sold for under $1.00 or less. There also may be a library that gives away free. This is a great way to increase your personal book supply. I have increased my book collection by close to 20 books this past year thanks to local libraries.

If you live in rural area, there may be a book mobile that comes through town. I remember walking three blocks down a country road and up a major highway to check out books as a teen. The book mobile came once a month and parked at the Post Office. Sadly, many times I was the only one waiting to get something to read, but I enjoyed this fun way to obtain new literature. You may also want to invest in comic books and graphic novels which are popular among teens and young adults.

3. Have Books Available

When I was a little girl, my mother and grandma bought me and my brothers about 20 of the Little Golden Books. We also had hardback and soft-copy nursery rhyme and fairy tales as well a number of books with Bible stories. As a teen, I worked at the local elementary school one summer and came across a box of discontinued books they were throwing away. I found quite a few that were interesting, including one bestseller by Maya Angelou, "I know why the caged bird sings." When my grandma shopped at a particular grocery store, I walked across the street to a thrift store and found something to read each time. I have also found gems for my grandchildren by checking out Goodwill and other discount stores. Purchase bookshelves and begin a home library, so that reading is always a part of your everyday life. The Bible and Bible storybooks are always good to have on hand.

Dre Bowles reading
Dre Bowles reading | Source

4. Incentives

When my children were in elementary school, they had fun entering the Book It contests sponsored by Pizza Hut. Each time they read a specific number of age-appropriate books, they received a coupon for a free personal pizza. All three of them eventually were reading so much they got a free pizza each month they participated. My daughter homeschools her three children, and they have just been enrolled in Book It, which begins in October. Free food is a great incentive for kids. You might also want to check with your local library to see if they have a summer reading program. When I enrolled my children, I participated in the adult reading, and twice I won a prize. You can motivate your children and or teens to read by offering them personal incentives for completing a certain number of books. You might also have them give you an oral book review to see what they have retained.

Ty and Jayla Bowles on library computers
Ty and Jayla Bowles on library computers | Source

5. Enouragement

Encourage your children and or teen to participate in Sunday school, church programs, and school plays where they must read and or memorize a part. Include the children when having a family reunion or celebrating an anniversary. Allow them to speak or read a poem or something else they have written. When I was growing up, we read in school, church and at home. We were encouraged by all the adults around us to gain all the knowledge we could. As African-Americans, we had a special incentive related to reading. We were told how slaves were forbidden to learn to read, and some died because of it. Later, I had a pastor who mentioned an old saying that if you wanted to hide something from black folk put it in a book. This encouraged me greatly, and I passed it on to my children and now my grandchildren. My youngest son was reading on a second grade level when he entered kindergarten because the entire family encouraged him. I am so proud of my oldest grandson who at age 11 will sit down and read an entire book if he is not interrupted, just as I did at that age.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cheryl E Preston


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      14 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      Well said! I am a professional librarian (now retired) and am currently helping to keep my local public library open by volunteering and recruiting other volunteers.

      It is always good to see parents bring their young children to the library and encourage them to read and take books home with them.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl E Preston 

      14 months ago from Roanoke

      Thank you

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      14 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Cheryl, I think your suggestions are great. When my children were very young my mother worked next to a discount book manufacturer, and we had numerous books that I read to them. When they got old enough to read they did a lot of reading also. As adults they have continued to read all the time.

      Your article gives many great ways to find books at afordable prices and ways to encourage children to read. Keeping them off the computer games to read is important for their education. Excellent article Cheryl!

    • Cheryl E Preston profile imageAUTHOR

      Cheryl E Preston 

      14 months ago from Roanoke

      Thanks for sharing. My brothers hated reading as well.

    • Isivwe Muobo profile image

      Farrah Young 

      14 months ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      Good one. I know the tip about using incentives would work a lot as I have seen it do so.

      When we were young, my kid sister hated reading and it took my parents adopting this method alongside a few others to see any results.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)