She doesn’t love to read

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I find it irritating, ironic and down-right unjust that my own daughter does not love reading. After all, I “know” literacy and since birth have done the following things which I’ll list for edification purposes. (Take notes but be warned–does not work for all children; in particular, my eldest daughter.) And, p.s. aren’t introverts suppose to love books?

* read to her daily A LOT of books and 3 books at bedtime

* take regular trips to the library and check out as many books as we can carry, read them all in no particular order

* model reading my own books and make time for reading during the day

* have excessive amounts of books at various reading levels and on various topics – seriously, it’s excessive

* reward with books

* got her a special reading headlamp for bed-time reading

* limit television — none during the school week and only limited on Saturdays

* listen to books on tape in the car, for quiet time, and just for fun

Okay, you get the point. A+B=C, right? If only.

(I will mention that since birth, she’s never loved, loved, loved books like my other child.  In fact, I use to read mostly at meal time because it was the only time I could get her to sit still for the length of a story.)

Here are my demands desires.

  • I want her to grab a book and read until she’s called to dinner.
  • I want her to talk about what she’s reading as if it were real.
  • I want her to look to books for information she wants to learn.
  • I want an epiphany.

She is only seven.  It will click one day, right?

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9 Comments on “She doesn’t love to read”


  1. My daughter is two and (so far) loves books. But my stepdaughter is 14 and has declared that she hates all books. I wish I could tell you the difference. I do everything you have done with your wee one, as did my stepdaughter’s mum. It just goes to show that nature still plays a larger role than nurture on certain things. I pray my own kiddo shares my love of literature. I suppose all we can do is let them find their own interests (though I think I’d feel a bit of secret anger if she didn’t love books as I do)

  2. Mama Bird Says:

    You’ve done so much more than I’m sure most Moms do to instill good reading habits. I’m in awe and I’m sure this is frustrating as all get-out for you. I’m not sure you haven’t already done everything you could possibly do to get her interested.

    If it were my daughter, I’d blame it on her independent streak. She’s only 2, but very much determined to do things her way! Maybe your daughter likewise needs to discover the pleasures of reading in her own time? What if you tried doing everything but reading books with her for awhile to see if she would then choose them for herself? Maybe it’s just something that will come to her later as she gets a little older? Just guessing here.

    I hope the two of you get to share your passion for books sooner than later!

    Good luck!


  3. My daughter loved being read to, especially at bedtime. We would make outings at our local bookstore sometimes to purchase and other times I would just read to her. When she was in kindergarten, I began to notice that she wasn’t picking up on reading like the other students. I must prefaced this by adding my daughter suffered chronic ear infections until tubes with placed when she was 7. I had her hearing checked reguarly, and she began to notice that she was different than the other children….after fighting for testing…I found out she had a learning difference…she was 9 years old and couldn’t read the word ‘the’. I found a school which specializes in teaching children with learning differences, The Academy In Manayunk, http://www.aimpa.org. My daughter has severe dyslexia, however, today she is reading on her own, and continues to make great strides in her reading comprehension and development. I tell you this not to alarm you, but to say when you Mother’s Intuition tells you something isn’t right…it’s probably isn’t. As parents, we are our children’s voices until they can stand up for themselves.
    http://strategicbookpublishing.com/NoTearsForTheTeary.


  4. I understand your frustration. I have a daughter who loves to read and a son who never picks up a fiction book. They are both teenagers now. What I did find though, is that my son loved (and still does) nonfiction books. He liked to learn about the world around him. He also loved comic books. Every night before bed he would read Garfield or Calvin and Hobbs. And even though it is a comic book, it is still reading.

    So maybe try some different types of reading and see if that helps. They have great nonfiction books for younger kids-plus some great magazines.

    Good luck!


  5. […] Taylor reminds us that even when you follow all the suggestions, your child may not like to read.  Melissa’s frustration with her daughter not enjoying reading as much as she does goes to […]


  6. Melissa, both my kids are huge readers. It has not always been that way. My son did not like to read at all and I also did all the things you are “supposed to do” to raise a lover of books. Being a bookworm myself, it was hard to understand why he didn’t like to read. Enter 3rd grade. They had 1 hour of mandatory reading in class each day. “WHAT!!! What about active teaching time. Does this teacher just want to surf the net?” I was beside myself that the he was spending so much quiet time in class when he could do that at home. I can’t tell you how or why but 3rd grade and that hour, in class, per day has made my son a lover of books. It will happen for her. Don’t push so hard and let it happen. We always learn so much with our firsts…

  7. Joana Says:

    Reading, to me, is a decision on how to exercise our imaginations and stimulate our mind. Given that, not all people, even introverts, love to read. I had a mom similar to you, who always read to me; indeed, one of my precious early memories is being taken to the library to pick out books. I learned to read at 4 and have been an avid reader ever since – BUT my mom raised my brother the same way and he doesn’t care to read books – he prefers magazines or reading on the computer, even at 46 years old. It may be that your daughter is wired differently. I don’t know if language arts are perhaps more difficult for her, but more likely, she has other ways of stimulating her imagination and enjoying stories. I’m very much a right-brain visual type, but she may be more of an auditory type. I would ask myself, how does she learn best? How does she seem to prefer to experience the world? Tactile? thru sound? a combination? She may be a person who likes to hear stories but not read them. Being a lover of books is not nearly as important as being a lover of learning and of the world around her. Give it time, try different things, and see where that takes you both. Who knows? You may both discover some new pathways!

  8. Alexandra Says:

    Hmmm… as an introverted engineering student I felt that I should comment on your article.

    A) If you think all introverts are supposed to love books I invite you to go to your nearest engineering/science university and ask for a show of hands how many people enjoy reading. A statistically high percentage of us are introverts, but I can count on one hand the number of my fellow students who read for pleasure.

    B) Kerrie’s mentioning of non-fiction books and comic books is quite true. Quite a few of my introverted friends who would never pick up a novel willingly read non-fiction books on history, science, math, ect…

    C) Your daughter’s lack of enjoyment in reading might be because she has had books around her her entire life. Too much of a good thing and all that.

    D) It might be she’ll just start reading later in life. Personally, I didn’t begin to like reading until I was nine years old and my parents started homeschooling me. Prior to that, I was always too tired at the end of the day from going to school and all the personal interaction. I just wanted to hide in my room or play outside, not a mentally challenging activity. At that time I also discovered that there were books based on my favorite TV series. That caught my interest and from then on I moved on to more and more complex books.

    In summary, yes something may “click” one day but in the meantime try not to be so hard on her. Instead of a reward book, see if maybe she’d prefer an Archie comic or an art kit or some other treat.


  9. My aunt and mother have relayed this story over to me many times since my childhood: I was staying the night at my aunt and uncle’s home, perched atop their bed, book in lap. I hadn’t yet learned how to read, but I looked at the pictures and made up my own story. My aunt said it sounded like I was actually reading the book. I fit the pieces together and realized I must have had some knowledge of structure and storyline, plot and execution. It amazes me now in a time when I want these things to work for me most, but come up struggling instead. Perhaps your daughter will grow into reading. I went to high school with a girl who was taught to read at a very young age and loved doing so, but by the time she aged in her double-digits she didn’t fancy reading anymore. Maybe it will be the opposite for your girl. I understand your desires. I’ve always dreamed of having the daughter who still held on to her imagination and did not rely on electronics for entertainment. That’s why technology worries me; I don’t want it to render my future children brain dead.


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