Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.You can find more details about it here.
Well, that’s quite a question – and a very tricky one at that. First of all, I believe that, like everything else, if someone doesn’t want to do something, they simply won’t – even if you try to convince them to do that thing every minute of every day. I’m sure of this because I have two much younger siblings, they’re twins, and one of them loves to read and one doesn’t. I’ve encouraged them to read in the same way, but for some reason my brother is a big reader and my sister just has no interest in it. It’s really quite funny as well because she’s really good at school but he isn’t, so it goes to show that the most avid readers are not always the best students, but that’s another topic altogether!
I think the main thing I did to encourage them to read was getting them excited about books as objects that you can get as presents to create a little collection, which you can then proudly display in your bedroom. You don’t need to buy new books for this, I used to get some novels from my grandmother’s shelves and rearrange them on my own bookshelf. We spent a lot of time with my brother looking for books our mum used to read when she was little and that were stored away; it felt like finding a family treasure and ultimately made the reading experience more enjoyable.
The second thing that I did is taking my siblings to our local library. These are places that are so good for children, but adults as well! They’re quiet spaces with kind and helpful staff, and the idea that you can go home with loads of books for free is too good to resist. My local library also had board games, video games and DVDs you could borrow, so it was even more attractive for younger people. Even my sister thoroughly enjoyed our weekly trips to the library because she just loved the atmosphere and sitting on the comfortable sofas to play a game or look at mangas.
Which brings me to an essential point I want to make: graphic novels, comics, and mangas are a great way to get into reading because they are books! Growing up, lots of adults would tell me to stop reading comics because ‘you don’t learn how to properly read and write with them’, and ‘they teach you a wrong form of language’. I think that’s a very silly thing to say to children (and adults, really) because graphic novels are works of art, both on a visual and literary level. I find it great that some classics are adapted into mangas or comics, so that different readers can discover these wonderful stories.
I think that a lot of people don’t read because reading can be perceived as a snobbish and elitist activity, but it shouldn’t. It’s a wonderful thing and we need to stop ranking genres – they’re all great in their own way! Also, the idea of a good or bad book should only be used to express whether you liked it or not. Then more people would read, I’m sure.