How to cultivate reading habits in the young minds

28 replies, Page 1

Bhim 2010-06-11 16:21:32



Hi Parents,

My son who is 8 yrs old, prefers spending more time watching TV rather then reading books which I bye in bulk from Sapna book house every week. I have relized very late in my life that books can have a profound impact  in shaping  up one's life and if we can cultivate these habits among children early on then its good for them. So far I have been completely failed in my persuance. My son does not like to listen to me though I tell him very politely.

I need some guidance from learned parents here on how can I create reading interest in my young schood going son.

Thanks in advance.




Madhuu 2010-06-11 16:32:54


First you need to know his favorite topic and buy books on those topic. Read the books to him and also both the parents spend time reading books for yourself and him. Also buy magazines which interests kids.


Gayathrisury 2010-06-11 17:09:42



im frm chennai, here in my daughter's  school, they had an exchange pgm with British Council, wherein they told us to finish 6 books within 2 months span. This is for 5-8 age group. At that point my daughter was 5 & i had real problem to make her understand her activity sheets.Though she dint finish (for that matter, no child finished within the timespan, except for one in 8 yrs group), they gave every child with a medal so that each child gets inspired & gets into the reading habit. When i was talking to one of the organisers there, they basically wanted to start this bcoz children were getting addicted to TV . Now my daughter picks up some books to read reandomly, sometimes even newspapers. They had lots of activities for the summercamp, i heard , as i was not in town. may be u can check it out. Children of any age may want to be associated with their peer groups.


apu 2010-06-11 18:03:01



allow your child to read everyday atleast half and hour to one hour any type of book.

will help surely


Nuppy 2010-06-11 22:27:10


hey there! i think for good books in very reasonable price, there is a book shop known as "books and books"which i found it to be very good!

he gives good old used books for as low as 25rs too!

the best part is you can return these books once you are done reading!

and he would deduct 5rs-10rs per book!

there is no time limit to return these books too!

his phone number is 9740527568

he is in bangalore



apar_sai 2010-06-11 22:50:38



First of all, start cutting down TV time till you bring it down to an hour or lesser per day. Thats half the battle won :).




rukmini 2010-06-12 12:05:05


When you are complaining that your child is watching too much TV, please make sure that you don't watch TV too. 

My son is 9.5 years old and he is a vivid reader.  He has already finished reading the entire Harry Potter series, Percy Jackson series, Artemis Fowl series, The Hobbit etc...........  He reads both fiction and non-fiction.  When he has free time, he only looks for books and not TV like in other houses.

From my experience, I can give some clues on improving the reading habit in children:

1. Start the reading habit from the very early age, may be, right from the time, the child starts seeing faces.

2. When the child is very small, buy lots of colourful books and make it a point to read it to the child every day.  Let the child hold the book in its hand and see what you are reading and you read it to the child.

3. Don't try to 'explain' each and every line to your child.  Then, the child would never pay attention to what you are reading and would only wait for your 'explanation'.  In case, if you are reading a book in English, don't try to explain it to the child in your mother tongue.

4. Don't use TV for diversion at food time. Instead, use books.

5. When the child grows up a little, make it a point to reagularly take the child to book shops and let him/her to select the books. You know, it really excites them a lot.

6. Once they are taught alphabets and small words in school, buy books with a lot of pictures and just one or two lines in each page and encourage them to read.  This, you can start may be around 4.5 years when the child is in the later half of LKG. There are some 'Ladybird' books available in the market for various stages of readers, you can start buying them.........

7. If the child makes mistakes while reading, don't correct it every time, this would reduce their confidence level.  Its okay, if they make a mistake initially.

8. In case if the child wants to read the same book again and again, that is also perfectly fine.

9. Slowly, increase the reading level and start buying books according to the reading level.  I suggest Dr Seuss books for improving the efficiency of reading.

10. Buy both fiction and non-fiction and encourage the child to read non-fiction too.

11. You set an example and do not watch too much TV.  In our house, in week days, we don't switch on TV at all except for some news in the night.

12. Let the child select the TV program which he wants to see and make him switch off the TV immediately after that particular show gets over. In any case, don't allow it to extend more than 45 mts - 1 hr.

13. Show good children movies and documentaries of BBC, Discovery, History channel etc. on week ends.  You also sit with the child and enjoy it with them.

I've to go now.  I'll continue when I have more time.








rukmini 2010-06-12 13:26:06


Dear Bhim,

Try removing your cable for 10 days.................. when the child has a lot of free time and it doesn't have anything to do, he would get interested in books. You know, you have to just develop the habit, once it is done,  he would get addicted to it, and then you have to force him to stop reading.................... Believe me, it can really happen.....

You don't go and buy the book yourself, you take your son and buy him the books he wants.

Don't buy too many books at a time, buy only one or two.

Don't keep on troubling him to read a book, he would get more irritated.........

You take a book, sit with him and read it to him. Stop reading when he gets very much involved in the story and ask him to continue himself............... Initially, don't buy the books which you want your son to read, but buy books which he wants to read.........

Please make sure that in your enthusiasm, you don't buy books beyond his reading level.................... Initially, buy some 'light reading' books............ Recent success in this age group is one 'Wimpy kid series'.Try buying comics like amar chithra katha, asterix, tintin etc. Children love comics.............

I regulalry refer two book web sites namely and for recent happenings, new additions etc.  In these sites, you can choose a book w.r.t. to the age, reading level, gender, subject, award winning etc. and you can even read 4-5 pages of the book.

I think thats all for now................. All the best................. :-)






roses 2010-06-16 05:22:05



To get children into reading is a lot of effort and as highlighted here it starts at a very young stage. At the age of 8 you do not have many battles to fight just a BIG one...the TV and to steer him to books.

Kids are more of pack followers. Take him to places where there are kids with books and kids digging books. I take mine to the library, story times, book stores and get him to interact/ see other kids who are lost in the world of me you'll see the change.

With the holidays summer reading kick-off : barnes & noble and the libraries have a list of books that the kids must complete during their summer vacation to be rewarded a gift card or a free book. I am sure British Council has a similar scheme. Start him off with that.

A good way to get him interested would be through his favorite TV character in the form of a short quick read book. The TV can go away and you will have to restrict it to more as a source of information than hours of entertainment. The TV time should be just once a week (as followed by a lot of parents all over including US president's family).

In fact, Barnes and Noble has online story-time first Tuesday of every month for this summer. You can join them for free at

We used to be allowed to have something called to 'library' at home of our favorite books and we started to 'lend' out to our books to friends. That not only got us more involved in books but helped us meet mor kids who were all into books....just a suggestion...



jessynaidu 2010-06-16 08:59:33


Hi am jessy naidu ,from hyd,

i like your suggessions ,even i have  a son who is 9 years old ,so these points are really very usefull to me.

Thank you so much for the guidence and also beatiful inspirational reading techniques.



Bhim 2010-06-16 09:15:41


Many thanks to all the learned parents for their valuable suggestions. I would follow and practice some of the suggesstions given here.





Hemal 2010-06-16 17:35:07


Hi....Just a suggestion...Be a child with a child....Do not give him a book and tell him to read.....Rather take a book yourself also...and sit besides him and maybe you can inculcate reading by then discussing. Also in the discussions, ask him to tell you about some imaginary situations (which will enhance his visualization capacity). For eg: you start off...saying So lets go to a garden(imaginary)...what do you see...trees....birds chirping....colourful flowers...children playing etc etc.....

Basically a child who reads more ...will surely be able to visualize more....But do not force him to read...try different ways which will make him thing...Oh i need to read ....


Bhim 2010-06-17 09:17:14


Thanks Hemal. I understood what you said and will certainly follow that. Many thanks for your valuable suggesstions once again.




mickey 2010-06-17 12:50:35


Hi all,

Wonderful  tips, suggestions and info  by Rukmini  and of course all of you here....

My elder daughter is addicted to books now..She has become a voracious reader . She is maintaining a library  at home which has fiction, non-fiction books , enclyopaedias , different knowledge series related to Universe, Nature , Earth , Science ,Astronomy  etc..She has collected over the years and takes pride in her collection.I have to make her stop at times and take her out......

Do introduce kids to the world of books  using the above mentioned tips and see how their world changes......

If possible take a membership of  a good library. If you have British library in vicinity, do take the membership and bring a few books which interest the kids and sit with them. Tell them stories in a role play or a dramatized format. Children will love it. They will start reading automatically.



jessynaidu 2010-06-18 15:05:48


waaaawwww.....great sugesstions from all the mothers,Actually  many people says that ''Every child is born jeanius'' but not only children,even the mothers also prooving their jeaniusness participaing in this forum,


Every mother is also born jeanius.





Hemal 2010-06-18 15:49:05


All of you ll can check out

They have an awesome collection of books and are an online circulating library. You just have to select the book online and the book gets delivered at your doorstep....

Me being a working woman, couldnt visit the libraries... But am so happy my reading habits are continuing due to




mickey 2010-06-18 15:57:22


Hi Hemal,

Librarywala is for Pune, Mumbai and Bangalore only. Do u  know any online library which caters to Hyderabad too ?



 Former member 2010-06-18 16:24:26


Nice suggestions & tips by parents…Rukmini, really valuable suggestions made by you.

 I am sure parents who r struggling to make their kids read books now knows how to do it….   I would like to share my experience with kiddo….i personally love reading books, any kind and member of a good library…I always take my kid with me when I am visitng the library. I always tell him tht this time I will read book... ….by author.... Sometimes when I forget to tell him, he asks me on own, which book is this? One day he asked me tht he wants to join the library and now he has his own membership….   Its kind of fixed between us tht each month I buy certain types of books for him….as a  month b’day gift…   Cheers   Pritam

palki 2010-06-30 17:17:36


Why don't you try audiobooks for your kids.. they are the best way to encouage kids to read and listen. Check out


Ann10 2010-06-30 18:26:51


Have you heard about Phonic classes for children. I stay in Thane (central mumbai) and I had attended an orientation in a playschool. I found it very professional and good teaching aids, nursery rhymes related to the words to engage children.

A very playway method with lot of activities to tech children phonetic.

Do you think it is good to send a child for such classes.



sandeepkm 2010-07-03 16:08:17



One method that we found very useful was bookshops lke Crosswords and Landmark.

When our son was around 5 years old, we decided to spend one day every month at one of these shops. They allow visitors to sit and read, with no time limits.

At first, our son would roam around, play with the toys and have fun. But after some time, he became curious about our activity. It is then that we introduced him to the books, especially some brightly coloured books and comics.

Now he is impatient if we do not go to these shops. And out of the 6-7 hours that we spend there, he is with toys for less than 30 minutes.

The other good thing about this is that he ends up choosing books to buy every month. We have introduced him to scientific experiment books, which are his latest craze.

But be prepared to have the house cluttered with books and all kinds of "inventions".




roses 2010-07-15 07:17:43


Hi Annapoorna - Good to hear that Crossroads and Landmark carry those options. I've been a little worried as to what I could do during my trip to India if my little one begins to miss his trips to Barnes & Noble or the library. I take him to storytime here and know we have BCL equivalent too, but wasn't too sure of where else. Thanks !1.7year old) 


Bhim 2011-03-15 18:08:14


Hi SG2001,

What is the school's name?





Shkm 2011-03-16 11:27:17


I would also need details of this program


Bhim 2011-03-16 12:47:40


My email id is




Chillibreeze 2011-03-16 15:04:39


Agree with outher parents. The best way to introduce children to reading is by simple books that they can relate to. Even comics like tinkle, archies, etc are enough to get them hooked to reading habits. These days, they have a series of books based on television characters like chota bheem, chota birbal, krishna,.... If he is addicted to telly, find out what characters/cartoons he loves and introduce books based on those characters. If he is not interested to read by himself, you can read aloud these stories - making it a bed time reading habit. If he enjoys computers, introduce him to audio and video books. In short, the child should not be forced to read books...he must enjoy indulging in the world of books.


simu1970 2011-03-17 09:57:03


Make them sit in group and read.Some kind of online reading books can also be provided to them.



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