The Young and the Bookless

I love to read, and that began for me before I was ten. I read Little Women and several other Louisa May Alcott books, the entire Little House on the Prairie series, Nancy Drew mysteries, and the biographies of Helen Keller, Florence Nightingale and Amelia Earhart ten times each without ever being assigned them. The Secret Garden. A Little Princess. The High King. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I remember them better than some of my more recent favorites.

So I am puzzled when my ten year old rarely picks up a book for pleasure. If I suggest it, I get the dramatic eye-roll and “all you want me to do is work, work, work!”


The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the high number of young people who do not read for pleasure. It seems it’s an epidemic, but the article failed to address the reasons why. The following is my attempt to think about why, so that I can do something about it in my house.


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