I have been wanting to write more discussion posts, and I thought that participating in Let’s Talk Bookish would be the perfect way to get in the habit of doing so. I love reading everyone’s opinions each week!
This week’s topic is an interesting one, and it is about how to encourage others to read. I have some thoughts!
I am someone who believes that no one should be forced to read. Many people I am close would not consider themselves readers, and I would never pressure them to read or think of them differently because they don’t. We all have different hobbies and interests- that is what makes us unique!
If I knew that someone wanted to start reading but didn’t know where to start, then that is a different story! I have a few books that I universally recommend to anyone (I will write a post on this in the future!), so I would probably start there. If I had a better understanding of their interests outside of reading, I would try to find a book recommendation that was better tailored to them. I also find myself recommending thrillers/mysteries quite often, as they are usually page-turners and keep the reader guessing.
I honestly believe that being required to read Shakespeare and books like Catcher in the Rye in schools has turned many people off from reading. In their mind, reading is boring and something that they are being forced to do. I myself struggled with this and took a couple years off from reading after high school. I think when you are required to dissect a book to death, the joy of simply reading for fun can be lost. It only takes one really amazing book to change your entire perspective on reading.
I also think that my passion for reading and the fact that I run this blog and talk about books all the time gets some people in my life excited about the idea of reading and can change their perception of it. My best friend is not a big reader, but if I find a book I think he will love, he will read it! He trusts my recommendations and the fact that I know his tastes. We even buddy read a book together this summer (The One by John Marrs), and he cannot stop talking about it. He even bought a copy for his mom and another friend of his. It is all about making sure someone is reading the right book for them!
Another interesting development is that my mom is starting to fall in love with reading. Growing up, I remember her reading a lot more but now she spends more time on her tablet. I think the pandemic has her mind spinning and she is looking for new outlets. She sees how much comfort I get from reading, so I suggested that she give it a chance. I know my mother very well and knew that she would be very picky, so I started with a pretty safe bet and put Where the Crawdads Sing in her hands. She absolutely loved it and is now reading all the historical fiction focused on women that she can get her hands on. I am constantly on the hunt for books that she will love, which is so fun for me!
As you can see, I never go out of my way to encourage others to read. Sometimes my passion for it rubs off on them, and other times I read a book that I know someone will love and I cannot stop myself from telling them about it. Recommending books to others is one of my favourite things to do, but I never want to feel like I’m pressuring a nonreader into becoming a reader. If someone tells me they hate reading, I believe them! As I said, we all have different passions!
I would love to hear your thoughts on this! What do you think about encouraging others to read? What is a book that you would recommend to someone who says they hate reading?