The 4 Big Reasons Kids Don’t Like to Read

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Why don’t kids like to read? There are all sorts of reasons, but they boil down to 4 big reasons. In order to help your child not just learn to read but love to read, you need to know why she doesn’t like to read in the first place. (Excerpted from Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader.)

reasons kids don't like to read

4 Big Reasons Kids Don’t Like to Read

  1. Too boring
  2. Too tricky
  3. Too blurry
  4. Too “sitty”

Too Boring
Too boring means one of two things: either the reading level is too hard, or your child hasn’t found the right book or subject that gets him hooked. I’ll help you figure out which issue applies and give you action steps for what to do about it.

Too Tricky
Particularly if you love reading and never had any problems learning to read, it’s easy to forget that reading is one of the hardest things your child will learn to do. I’ll help you determine the problem and what you can do to help.

Too Blurry
Vision, learning difficulties, and the ability (or inability) to pay attention all powerfully affect learning. How do you know if one of these is a problem for your child? We’ll look at the red flags and what to do next.

Too “Sitty”
Sitting still doesn’t appeal to many kids, mine included. If you have a child who doesn’t like to sit and read, I’ll help you find alternatives to sitting—all of which include reading!

Do you have a reluctant reader in your life?

What do you think is the reason he or she dislikes to read? 


Find out how to help your reluctant reader in my new book, Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader, it’s the book I wish I had as a teacher and parent of reluctant readers.

6 Ideas for Reluctant Readers

7 Ideas for Kids who Think Books are Boring


16 Responses

  1. Clark Drake says:

    The real reason why kids don’t find reading to be to their liking is because reading slows down time and above all: is not fun.

    I could ask all of my friends and only one of them would say that they like reading. The reason for this is that any of them would rather be shot at point blank range with an electric pellet gun than sit down and read Catch-22.

  2. My son’s issue is it’s “too sitty”!! :((

  3. Mine definitely has trouble with sitting still! She won’t even sit when you read to her!

  4. School Sparks Renee says:

    You’ve really hit upon some reasons why kids don’t like reading. Your book will be very helpful for lots of parents, I’m sure. Renee

  5. My oldest hated reading because she did not like to read aloud: Too performance-y.
    My middle daughter does not read for pleasure: Too hard to find a good book to drag her in.
    My youngest prefers to be read to: To slow to get to the “good parts”. Also hates to be corrected.

  6. The main reason for my son is too tricky – things that he is really interested in reading are beyond his reading level. And there is some too sitty, because he doesn’t like to sit, even if I’m the one reading to him.

    1. Sarah Kelly says:

      this is exactly the same reason for my son. He’s very intellectual, likes to discuss everything “real” at great lengths, but when he chooses books that are at his reading level they’re not at his interest level. Also, different from Catherine, but my son seems to have a quick reaction to words and still flips them a lot. He is a lefty and now at 7 is just feeling comfortable with handwriting and focusing long enough, so probably “too sitty” in addition to being a bit tricky. I’d love any help I could get to encourage him to love reading like his parents do 😉

  7. I love “too sitty”, my daughter has a combination of that and too tricky. She read her book to me tonight as she was kneeling on the ground, leaning on her bed. I’ve learned that sitting still while reading isn’t the most important thing. Being calm and confident is more important.

    1. My editor was horrified when I included a section about perfecting the “walk and read” — and made me add a disclaimer about injury. 🙂 But for kids like ours who don’t like sitting, walking around and reading must be an option.

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