Guy reading

This is just to whet your appetite for a longer, fuller discussion of male reading habits. This past week, I had the chance to listen to Michael Sullivan give a talk about getting boys reading. If you get the chance, please see him, listen to him, and most importantly, TALK ABOUT HIM with the boys in your life.

One of his key points that I want to quickly mention is that all males who become readers can name that book that turned them into readers. It’s one book that made reading something to them in ways no education or program had. This weekend, while among a number of my close male friends, I asked them to name that book. And they all could and they all did.

Sullivan has a belief for many boys, it’s a fantasy book. More on why in a future post. But for now, tell me one of two things:

1. What was the book that turned a male in your life on to reading (or if you’re one of the rare males reading this blog — statistically speaking — what was it for you)?

2. If you are a female, can you name the book that turned you on to reading? One title that made you a reader? Or have you always been a reader?

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a bit about guy reading habits and books they dig. It’s an important and underdiscussed topic. Feel free — i.e., PLEASE — chime in. I am eager to hear your thoughts.

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  1. says

    My dad still doesn't read a lot (he reads very slowly, which is frustrating for him, and he'd rather be outside so he pretty much only reads in winter), BUT I believe the book that makes him now try to seek out books that'll hold his interest was Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose.

    Me? I've always been a reader – my first word was "book". :)

  2. says

    I couldn't possibly be more excited about this series of posts. Your blog is rocking my socks off.

    None the less, to answer your question, as a female I've always been a reader of nearly every type of genre. It would be awesome if someone who would do some scientific research (rather than anecdotal) on the differences in reading habits between males and females.

  3. says

    This is hard research, actually. I will pass along a bibliography of sources — I haven't read them but they're on top of my professional reading pile now.

  4. Terry says

    I'm male, and I suppose THE book would have been "Starship Troopers" by Robert Heinlein in seventh grade. As an English teacher, I'm constantly trying to match guys up with their 'home-run' book.

  5. Anonymous says

    My dad always told me it was science fiction books that made him a reader in junior high. Robert Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard, I believe.
    For me, being a girl, it was Holes and Harry Potter, though I still don't read as often as I should.

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