• NZ Booklovers

18 Tips on How to Get Kids to Stop Reading

Are you a parent, teacher, uncle, or just someone who likes to give your opinion on what the kids around you might be reading? Do you generally think what the kids around you are reading is trash? Drivel? Nonsense? That it can’t possibly cultivate their little, budding minds. Do you want to once and for all end their walk down this over-grown weedy path of badly written, inferior fiction but just don’t know how to? We’re here to help.


1. Tell the kids that what they’re reading is silly, and that they should be reading Better Books. This is especially effective if you don’t bother to define what “better” is, or if you refuse to accept that “better” is just your opinion.

2. If they don’t stop after that, continue to mock their reading choices. Are the kids still managing to get some fun and joy out of it? Are they still happy discussing things with their friends? Nope, that won’t do! You’ve got to nip that in the bud by deriding theirs’ and their friends’ reading choices.

3. Pit them against each other. Tell one kid how much better the other’s reading skills and choices are. Ask them “Why can’t you be like so and so?” That’s bound to do wonders for their self-esteem and friendships. Even better if the one you’re comparing them to is their sibling!

4. Critique them for how many books they read. Are they only managing to get through one every few months? Tell them they should be reading faster and reading more! Ask them why they can’t read faster. That will really do it.

5. Tell them that books with pictures aren’t worth their times. If they’re reading, they should only be reading full chapter books with nary an illustration in them. They’re not Real Readers otherwise.

6. If they only read fiction, demand why they don’t read any non-fiction. Belittle their choices. Point out how many great real life stories there are.

7. If they only read non-fiction, demand why they don’t read any fiction. Belittle their choices. Point out how many well-written works of literature there are.

8. And while you’re at it, tell them that magazines and online articles don’t count as Real Reading. Real Readers do it on paper. And they do it for extended periods of time. In the exact manner that you approve of.

9. Do they like to post about their reading ventures on social media? Ask them why they feel the need to do that. Constantly. Isn’t it enough they’ve just read the book? Tell all your family members and your friends and laugh about the kid’s silly habit.

10. Is the kid asking you to read with them? Despite the fact that you think they’re far too old to be read to? It doesn’t matter if they secretly just want to spend more time with you, or need help with reading comprehension. Brush them off, ignore them, tell them they need to grow up.

11. Don’t think about how you might have been as a kid yourself, needing guidance, struggling with reading, or just wanting some support and encouragement. Definitely don’t try and put yourself in the kid’s shoes.

12. Don’t take the kids to the bookstore.

13. If you do take the kids to the bookstore, tell them you will only buy Real Books. None of that nonsense with pictures, comic strips, or any other gimmick.

14. Don’t take the kids to the library.

15. If you do take the kids to the library, judge everything they pick up. Ask them if they really want to borrow that.

16. Are the kids watching too much television? Playing too many video games? Tell them that they could be spending their time better by reading. Tell them this constantly so that they grow to resent you and reading. Two birds with one stone!

17. Telling the kids they should be reading is the best way to kill it before the reading bug starts. Kids really like to be told how they’re not doing the right thing.

18. Telling is also great, because all you have to do is shift the responsibility on them. As opposed to engaging the kids in books by talking about something great you’ve read, an amazing story you’ve never been able to forget, inspiring writing by real-life heroes they love. You want none of that. Just talk at them about how they should be reading. Just open and close that mouth, and sounds come out. Simple, yet effective.


Faustina Paustin

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