Turn your child into a book lover

Children love Adrian Beck's funny, action-packed books. Ahead of his family friendly event at City Club, he offers tips for getting kids off devices and into books.

As a children’s writer, my main goal is to get young readers hooked on reading. Fortunately, lots of parents and guardians help me by creating a home environment that promotes a love of books. It’s easier than you might think. 

When I was a boy, I went through ups and downs with my reading, but eventually I discovered my inner bookworm, thanks to my mother and my grandfather. They were always on the lookout for books I might like. In hindsight, the high-octane thrillers my grandfather passed on to me may have been a bit too edgy! 

I soon found there’s nothing quite like the feeling of connecting with a great book, one that keeps you up late at night and captures your imagination long after you put it down. But kids may need a little nudge in the right direction to discover their own love of books. 

Here are some tips that might work for you. 

Little girl laughing upside down on a tyre swing
Eggs and flour on a bench with a smiley face made of flour
A little boy amongst lush greenery


Make reading easy 

Kids can’t get into reading if there are no books in the house. Make it a priority to have books readily available, and highly visible. Consider having a bookcase in the living room as well as their bedrooms. You can always visit your library for a cost-effective approach to filling your house with books. The City Club Library also has children’s books for families to read when visiting the Club. 

Support kids’ choices 

If we want kids to read for pleasure, we need to let them choose their books. It may not be the type of book that will win literary awards or be a classic, but whatever gets them turning pages is a win. If they love Minecraft or footy, there are books about that. Even if they love toilet humour, I think you’ll find there are a few books along those lines too.  

Model good reading habits 

This one is my favourite because it also gives parents an excuse for some me-time! Kids need to see adults reading for pleasure. This reinforces the idea that reading is a lifelong pleasure, not just something teachers make kids do. (And staring at your phone does NOT count as a good reading habit.) 

Read aloud 

Reading does not have to be a solitary pastime, especially if your children have reading challenges. Why not pick a book to enjoy together? The rise of audio books shows that we all love to be read to, whatever our age. 

Be a dag! 

When you read aloud, don’t be afraid to use funny voices. Creating a sense of theatre can really draw kids into a story. Plus, kids love to laugh at their elders. Or is that just my kids? 

Treat authors like rock stars 

Yes, I wish I was a rock star! But, not only that, introducing kids to authors and illustrators can increase their engagement. I suggest taking kids to author events and festivals, viewing updates on social media to build anticipation of new releases and encouraging your child’s school to invite authors to visit and share all their storytelling secrets! 

I hope some of these tips prove useful. Once kids find the right book, there’s no stopping them! 

Come to City Club and meet author Adrian Beck at our special children’s event during the school holidays. Thursday, 8 July, 10.30am-11.30am, $30 for one child or $50 for two children, includes morning tea and a copy of Adrian Beck's latest release, Stop the Dad Jokes! Find out more on our What’s on page.  

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