Friday, February 3, 2012

Thoughts on picky readers

I get notes every week that start out along these lines:

I usually hate to read, but I just read.... and then she goes on to tell me how she read one of my books in one day and she loved it or whatever.

Now, I am thrilled that you read my book and enjoyed it. YAY! But I'm sad to see that you think you hate reading. Because I don't think you really do. I think you are maybe just very particular with your tastes and lots of books aren't your cup of tea.

So guess what. You have to work a little bit harder to find books you'll like. But that's the great thing about books for kids and teens today. There are SO MANY to choose from! I know it can be discouraging to have friends who can easily walk into a library, pick a book off the shelf because the cover looks cool, and be happy with it when they start reading. Oh well. You aren't like that. You might have to ask your librarian or a teacher or your parent for help in finding books that you might enjoy.

I have one child who is a very selective eater, due to sensory integration disorder. He doesn't hate eating. He just doesn't like a lot of textures found in foods, and so, he's very selective about what he eats. I think it can be the same for some kids and reading. It's not the reading itself that they hate, because when they find a book that "fits them" they'll happily read it and ask for more.

Yesterday a mother of a 4th grader wrote to me, so happy that her daughter read IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES, because she said she has always hated to read. She ordered SPRINKLES AND SECRETS for her, because her daughter couldn't stop talking about the first book, and she wanted to keep the momentum going.

I told her, now you know your daughter likes realistic, girly reads, so you can help her find books "like that," and I went on to give her some suggestions.

Are you a picky reader or do you know anyone who is? I'd love to hear from you, and do you think I'm right, that it's not so much about hating to read as it is about finding books that are a good fit?


  1. I never considered that people who claim to hate reading may actually just be more picky, but I think that fits perfectly. Now I know how to combat that kind of thinking in the future!

    1. I'm way late on responding, but thanks for reading and commenting. :)

  2. Agreed that it's not so much they hate reading its just that school shovels books down there throat that they have to read and remember and anylize and it just becomes school stuff.

    I always recommend my personal favorites and either tack on one or two more ot take away from it depending on the person's age I remember this one time at the library a grandma was looking for a book for a teen boy I thought for a minute then recommended maxuim ride. she then came up to me one day at a church BBQ and thanked me because he loved it

  3. I always thought I hated reading..but my little sister is so into her reading, that walking through a bookstore in Portland, OR the summer before my freshman year, I found your book: I Heart You, You Haunt Me. I've read it atleast 17 times! It's exciting to see that I have a type of book, and when I find the right one I can't put it down! (:

    1. Wow, 17 times! That may be a record. Thank you for your note and I hope you've sought out other verse novels to try!