An article called How to Raise Boys that Read in The Wall Street Journal inspired my response below:
For the past fourteen years, I have worked as a librarian in an all-boys kindergarten through eighth grade school. While I agree that limiting exposure to electronic media potentially creates a void that can be filled by reading, this alone will not insure that boys will read or want to do so. As parents and teachers we can lay an early foundation by reading and discussing books with boys regularly and enthusiastically. We sparks the desire to read when we model the importance of reading by making time for it and by providing opportunities to share how the book touched us.
There are ways to encourage reluctant readers. Not every boy can sit quietly and listen to a book. Provide quiet activities such as drawing or playing with clay while stories are read so minds can engage while hands are busy. Don’t devise special assignments for your son such as book reports or written summaries which can kill the joy of reading. Reach the reluctant reader by reading to him, offering audio books and/or having a family reading time. Read one chapter and leave the book by the bed. Provide good lighting for reading independently and comfortably. Look through the Go Reader Go site for help choosing “just-right” books.
In conclusion, we can transform how boys think about and choose books by our words and actions. Provide the means and the motive and boys may frequently read.