Anyway, the youngest was telling me about his practice ACT (something like that?) English scores, how he does really well on the grammar sections, but bad on essays and reading. And that he doesn't like reading.
I tried not to act too hurt.
It's not like we sat and had a long discussion about it or anything, just a casual passing conversation, but he did tell me a few interesting things. See, this brother is a total jock. He has this incredible natural talent and watching him play basketball is a beautiful, beautiful thing. He's also a total sweetheart, definitely the most sensitive of my brothers. He's the brother who's had crushes on cute girls since preschool, and voluntarily folds his laundry right out of the dryer before putting it in the basket so it doesn't wrinkle. What teenage boy does that? So yeah, he's a very smart, sensitive, athletic and totally sweet kid.
Who doesn't like reading.
What he told me is this: he said when he reads he feels like its a waste of time, when he could be doing something else, i.e. playing basketball. I asked about awesome books like Harry Potter, and he said even if its a really good book he can't read for too long before he feels totally pooped out. He likes watching movies of books instead.
This is nothing new, I know. I thought, however, I'd get some of your thoughts on anything that could possibly be done to lead teenage boys towards an appreciation of reading. Not just for him, but in general. For future reference. I've got a few ideas: find relevant books on topics the boy loves. Maybe a rewards system? A good selection of books is key here, of course. Fun, exciting books, maybe that don't have a movie he can go to instead. But the whole reading-is-a-less-worthwhile-activity-than-other-things mindset is a really hard one to fight against. Perhaps that warrants it's own blog post. But yeah, do you have any ideas? What have you done when you've encountered this kind of thing before, and how has it worked out?
Oh, and anyone have recommendations for basketball books? Non-fiction, biographies, novels, whatever. For reals, I could use some suggestions...my brother may be getting a random and perhaps not quite wanted present in the near future.