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How to inspire a love of reading in your teen

If your teen is like many teens in high school, having a love of reading is not too high on their list of priorities.

Most high school students are forced to read hundreds of pages from textbooks every week. After reading page after page of “boring” text, why would they be inspired to read anything for “fun”.

I believe that everyone should develop a love of reading!

I believe we as parents have a responsibility to our kids to teach them to be life long learners. And the best way for anyone to be a self learner is through reading new information.

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Inspire them through Movies

Many of the most popular movies are based off of books! If your child loves a certain movie, or series of movies, get them the books to read before they can watch the movie. (Many times the books are better than the movie!)

Or, find out what type of genre of movies your teen likes to watch!

Do they enjoy watching a mystery? Do they enjoy comedy? Or perhaps a romance?

Whatever type of movie they enjoy, you can find a book in the same genre that might pique their interest, and hold their interest throughout the book.

Many times, teens just need to find a book that interests them. Have them try out a few different books! It only takes one good book that they can’t put down for them to be hooked to reading more books.

Reading Requirement

Making reading a requirement sounds like a good idea, but doesn’t always work out well with teens.

I knew a mom who would have 10 teen boys at her lake house every weekend. And every day she would require the teen boys to have at least 30 minutes of reading a day.

Although it was a great sentiment, it never worked out too well. Every day the boys would sit, books in hand, flipping through the pages, pretending to read. Even though none of them ever actually read anything, it was still a step in the right direction!

Plus, you never know if there was a boy who was actually reading and interested in his book! So you never know until you try! :D

Visit the Library

If you haven’t visited your local public library in a while, you should really go check it out! I have visited local libraries all over the country, (Did I mention that I moved 8 times in 12 months?) and every time I am impressed by all that these libraries have to offer!

I have seen libraries that have beautiful facilities, impressive books selection, and amazing free programs!

I love taking my kids to the library 2 days per week! (For those of you that don’t know me: hi! I’m Rachael. My kids are 3 and 1, and they both LOVE to read books!) Most libraries have a preschool reading program that they read books to kids, and my kids love going!


Just by taking your teen to the library once a week can help them in many ways! They can read books, use a quiet space to do homework, or use some free tutoring if your library has that program!

What free programs does your local library have?

Get your teen a library card

Does your teen even have a library card?

I remember when I first got my library card, I wanted to check out at least 30 books, which was the limit for that branch.

Just the feeling of having something of my own felt exciting and empowering!

If you help your teen get their own library card, instead of using yours, they may be excited to go to the library and start checking out their own books.

My local library gives cards out to children as young as kindergarten, so your teen or preteen has no excuse for not having their own card! :D

Summer time

I LOVE summer!

I always highly encourage parents to use the summer downtime as a chance to encourage your teen to read more!

When your teen is not in school, they have plenty of time to lay out and relax with a good book! I encourage parents to make reading a weekly requirement during the summers. This reading time should be about fun, and not about text book learning.

Maybe even encourage your teen to write a book over the summer!



Hey there! My name is Rachael and I have been a private tutor for over 10 years. I earned my undergraduate degree in 2 and a half years and earned my graduate degree by age 22. I have tutored dozens of high school students, college students, and graduate students. I offer support, encouragement, and resources to help parents learn how to best help their teen or child that is struggling in school.