How To Grow A Reader…

Hi folks.

I was just invited to a Facebook page – INSPIRING CHILDREN – ONE BOOK AT A TIME.

The page was set-up to talk about the need to encourage young readers.

I’m kind of interested in that whole idea.

We – as authors – NEED to reach young readers – and one of the best ways to reach those young readers is by reaching their parents and grandparents.

I learned how to read by watching my grandmother and grandfather and my uncle. The two of them ALWAYS had a book on the go.

I’m not saying that they were good books.

My grandmother was into Frank G. Slaughter, and the Mandingo series, and the Falconhurst series.

My grandfather was into Mickey Spillane and Richard S. Prather and John D. Macdonald’s “Travis Magee” series.

My uncle dug Don Pendleton’s Executioner series.

It seemed no matter where I looked I saw an adult reading something. I grew up figuring that this was just what people did with their time. I chewed my way through The Hardy Boys series, the Tarzan series, all of the adventures of Doc Savage, Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu series, Robert E. Howard’s Conan series and many other yarns that were aimed at adults but read by kids.

First book my grandmother ever gave me was a hardback copy of Robert Stevenson’s TREASURE ISLAND. Second book was Bram Stoker’s DRACULA. I read both of them right through and then hunted up copies of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE as well as THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.

I had three paper routes – getting up at 5am to deliver The Toronto Star and then completing two routes of The Sudbury Star after school – before supper. I saved my money and once a month would ride the bus for an hour to get to Sudbury – the closest city – to a used bookstore where I could feed my addiction.

This is how it happens. If we want to foster a love for reading it starts by demonstrating a love for reading!

I hope none of you minded me jumping up on this soapbox like I have – but that’s what blogs are for, aren’t they?

You want to check out that Facebook page you can find it right here

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

3 responses to “How To Grow A Reader…

  1. Great point that even adult authors reach children. Seeing people read is contagious. Every time I bring a book into a waiting room of some doctor’s office I get people asking me about what I’m reading (which leads to very strange looks since I research some of the most unusual topics for my series).


  2. Thanks for getting up on your soapbox and shouting about this facebook page – it’s fascinating! And reminding adults that showing a love of reading is the best way to create readers is a subject worth shouting about!


  3. Very well said. My family wasn’t big into reading, but we just happened to have two paperbacks in the house that caught my eye. Pet Semetary by King and Shadowland by Straub. If ever there was a more impactful introduction into the imagination, this was it. Greedily I read. Greedily, I devoured. I then I begged my mother for lunch money, which I saved and starved myself, so I could go buy more books like these at the end of the week. It was well worth it.


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