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How can I encourage my teen to read for pleasure?

The amount of time that teens spend reading for pleasure has declined a lot over the past few years.  Whether this is due to the rise in short-form reading, the prevalence of multitasking, time spent with screen media, or other factors is unknown.

Fortunately, we do know the way to encourage readers of any age: Keep books in the house, set aside daily reading time, and read yourself. For teens specifically, it may help to tap into whatever they're passionate about. From music and fashion to video games and the Victorian era, if you can name it, there's a book about it.

In a world filled with entertaining diversions, it can be difficult for teens to find reading material that really motivates them to read. Check our reviews (you can sort our book reviews by age, genre, and topic).

Here are some more ideas:

  • Try an ereader. Ereaders offer your teen a bit more independence, flexibility, and privacy. And they're great for travel.
  • Consider humor. Some teens just need the funny.
  • Draw inspiration from pop culture. Late-night comedians, musicians, and even software developers (think Steve Jobs) are great subjects (or authors!) for teen reading because they're relevant to teens' lives.
  • Insist that they read the book before seeing the movie. If they want to see a story on the big screen, hand them the book first.