How to Encourage Others to Read – Let’s Talk Bookish

Hello everyone and welcome back! It is time for another Let’s Talk Bookish discussion. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by me and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: How To Encourage Others To Read (suggested by Rian @ Dogs and Books)

This is an excellent question. I previously had a very naive belief about to how to do this, but after a little bit of experience trying to convince someone to read, I have a different perspective on this. Thank you so much to Rian for suggesting this topic, and without further ado, let’s get started!

Getting people to read is HARD. I truly didn’t understand how hard it was until I tried to convince some family members to try and read.

It’s nearly impossible. I suggested books, I gave ultimatums, I tried to bribe them in a way, and it still didn’t work.

Last year, I would have said a bunch of things like: talk with them, try to suggest a book that you know they’ll love, talk about your favorite books often, just give them time and space, and right now, I just want to clunk myself on the head for the absolute naivety of that. (Sometimes, this does work though depending on the person, so don’t ignore it completely!)

You can’t really make someone love reading. They have to be open to the idea of it for that kind of advice to work. When they aren’t open to it, you can still try, and maybe you’re just as stubborn as them so you’ll eventually win and they’ll realize that they’ve been missing out their entire life, but more often than not, it’s just going to end up with you throwing up your hands in utter frustration. that was me

And sometimes, I worry that by pushing so much, I’m actually dissuading them from trying because they’ll start to associate reading with that annoying pesky cousin who just won’t be quiet about books.

I totally do not mind being that annoying pesky cousin since it’s because of reading, but at the same time, you have to realize when it’s not worth it or it’s not helping to keep pushing. If they truly want to read, they’ll have to get there by themselves someday.

Just always be there in the background with a 100-awesome-books list waiting for that moment when they say that they think they want to try a good book.


If you don’t have the above situation, and you do have someone who is possibly open to books, then I suggest you share a favorite of yours that you think they would like. I can’t stress that enough. Do not share a book that you personally liked and want them to like, but think about who they are as a person and then recommend books accordingly.

That’s also a mistake I may have made. So don’t be like me lol.

You want their first go at reading to be a pleasant experience, or at least a mediocre one so that they won’t be put off by books and just give up.

And if you have a situation where the other person is like: I just don’t get reading or I hate reading long chapters and so much text or It’s so boring and bland, you might want to suggest a less conventional way of reading, such as audio books or graphic novels.

You might also want to reassure them that reading isn’t like school where you have to find the meaning and theme and all of the author’s supposed hidden agenda. Leisurely reading means reading just for you. If you don’t get it, well then you don’t get it. Just drop the book and pick up the next one. No need to spend a few hours looking for “evidence” of how the red mask symbolizes death.

And yeah. That’s pretty much it. Just be sure that you’re thinking of the other person and their personality, and don’t end up just recommending books because you love them and think that everyone loves it, and so that person will love it too. You never know, maybe they’ll be that person who absolutely hates it.

This Week’s Participants:

Dani @ Literary Lion | Aayushi @ My Bookish Banter| Allana @ Simply Allana

Abby @ Beyond the Read | Evelyn @ Evelyn Reads | Rian @ Dogs and Books

Sophie @ Balivernes | Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books | Aria @ Book Nook Bits

Leelynn @ Leelynn Reads | Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages

Jane @ Blogger Books | Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den

Dorothy @ Starlit Shelves

How are y’all doing? Have you ever tried to persuade someone to read and it didn’t work out? I would love to hear that story! What are some tips that you have? I also kind of need some recommendations, so what are you currently reading? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

18 thoughts on “How to Encourage Others to Read – Let’s Talk Bookish

  1. I totally agree with you! It can be really hard and in the end, only people who are open-minded and are interested themselves will pick up reading. I tried so much in high school but the people who ended up reading were ones who were always into it at some point. And I also think it’s not our responsibility to make people read. We can try but it’s much easier to find our tribe online, with the fortunate current technology, than convert people into readers.

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  2. It can be soooooo hard to get people to read! You can tell them a million amazing things about your favorite books and still have them be like ‘no thanks!’

    Great discussion! I definitely relate 😅

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  3. It’s so hard to get people to read!! I am always trying to get my friends and my brother to read and they never do. It always makes me very sad but they are very set in their ways. Such a great post agree so much with what you are saying❤︎❤︎

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  4. I’ve tried to get my boyfriend to read, as well as my Dad and sister, but with no success! I did get my Mum back into reading after she hadn’t read in years, but I feel like it only worked because she knew from the past that reading was actually really fun, and she just got out of the habit. I think reading just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and no amount of persuasion is going to get them into it, which is a shame. I usually keep trying though! 🙂
    Great post!

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  5. Love this! I completely agree that forcing someone to read doesn’t work. I think it’s really important to be very relaxed about reading. My youngest brother really only reads manga, and he often feels really guilty about it because he doesn’t think it counts so I always try to tell him that reading should be something you enjoy to do so you have to read things you enjoy reading.

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  6. for context, i try to get my younger siblings to read, and another thing i found that help i to choose the right moment, their complaining because there is no wifi at the cabin at the beach your at? tell the two competitive ones that the one who reads the most books by the end of the holiday will get ice cream with you when you get back, and then take them both out to ice cream at the end because the reading itself is important.

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  7. I agree, there’s no way to force someone to love reading. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink and all that. It’s really important to consider your audience when recommending books for reading. You have to figure out what they’ll enjoy otherwise you’re just making reading work for them the way it may have been during their school years. Even if you do your best some people will never fall in love with reading. That’s just how it is.

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  8. I really liked reading your thoughts on this, Rukky! I never really try to persuade others to read, but it’s always great to be able to inspire someone to pick up a particular book that I enjoyed. My brother is completely opposite to me as he cannot stand books and often points out that I am ‘always reading’! I also agree that you should consider another person’s tastes before making a recommendation.

    Great post, and a really good discussion idea 🙂

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  9. This is an amazing discussion, Rukky! I completely agree that you should know when your constant “encouragement” is or isn’t working — maybe reading’s just not for that person. And also about recommending books based on that person’s taste, not yours 👍 Thank you for this post! 💛

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