Let me introduce you to my Dad – he has many hobbies, but reading was never one of them. He gets obsessive about his hobbies though the same way I do, so I guess I got that from him. While he was never “a reader”, he was always supportive of my reading addiction. The only books my Dad read were wood working manuals, or a select few non-fiction, typically about spirituality. The last time he remembered reading a piece of fiction was when he was 19 (he’s now 63) and he read For Whom The Bell Tolls (…and he only picked that up because he enjoyed the movie so much).
Why did I give you this little introduction to my Dad? Because he’s never been a reader, and so far he’s read around 18 fiction books since March 2015.
It all started when I won a giveaway hosted by Belinda @ Bookarahma for two books – Dark Dawn and When Sorrows Come by Matt Maguire. Being a mood reader, when I received these books, I didn’t want to read them right away, but the cover immediately caught Dad’s eye because of the infamous Harland and Wolff cranes, then he read the blurb, and suddenly, for the first time in a very long time – he felt like reading a book.
He really enjoyed these books, and is (im)patiently waiting for the next one to be released. Once he’d finished them, and he realised that he could actually read a fiction book, and that he did actually enjoy the experience, I decided I had to run with this!
I went out and picked up some Andy McNab and Chris Ryan books for him to try – Dad loves his gun-slinging, car crashing, bombs exploding, action packed movies – movies that usually have plots involving the FBI, CIA, etc. (think the Bourne series, Taken, White House Down… you get my drift). So, I picked books written by ex-SAS soldiers, imagining they’d be more factually accurate, and that they might grab his attention.
Well, grab his attention they did, because a slow and tentative introduction to reading has turned in to somewhat of an insatiable hobby. Now, he NEVER has a book out of his hands! And, with some gentle encouragement, he’s reading thrillers, crime, mystery and law-based fiction, sometimes without a gun, fight scene or even a car chase in sight!
Dad’s favourite authors include Harlan Coben, Peter James, and John Grisham. He talks to me regularly about the books he’s reading, sometimes he even mutes the TV so he can read!
We have something new to bond over, and while he always appreciated my fascination with reading, now he truly understands just why I love it so much.
I bought him books for his Birthday, we went charity shop book-hunting together the other day (check out his stash on the left, I even slipped a historical fiction in there!) – and now ladies and gentlemen, *drum roll please* he’s on Goodreads.
I’ve done it! I’ve helped convert a man who believed, for the majority of his life, that reading fiction just “wasn’t his thing”, that he lacked the imagination for it, that he was too logical for it, and it got me to thinking about other non-readers out there. That breed of individual that I always found so peculiar for not being able to find enjoyment within the pages of a well thumbed book. I’d always assumed that the world was divided into two camps – those who are readers, and those who are not. But my faith has been restored! It seems everyone truly can find a love for reading, if they are only introduced to the “right” book.
Have you ever converted a non-reader into a reader? Has this inspired you to give it a try? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!
I managed to convert three people from non-readers to readers in less than two years. All of them are my best friends who were fascinated by my opsession over books so one by one I managed to convince them to start reading. First, it started with my friend Leo and his right book was Harry Potter, but after that he picked up a ton of YA books (The Maze Runner, Vampire Academy, Incarceron etc.). With my friend Pamela it didn’t go so easily. She still reads the least out of three, but ocasionaly she does read and that makes me happy. I introduced her with Clockwork Angel, though I think she still didn’t finish that one. And lastly, I introduced my best friend Lucija to City of Bones. She started reading it in June and now she’s on a fourth book, which is a lot for her. And she’s opsessed. I am now proud on both myself and them. I totally agree with the statement that everyone just needs to find the right book to discover their love for reading.
That’s an excellent track record!!
Thanks for commenting, all of the books you’ve recommended them to read are great picks! R x
When you first posted your haul picture a la crime/mystery, I was wondering if you had a sudden change of mood reading (because it did feel like a real sudden shift in what you read–not saying you wouldn’t read it though). Alas, good on you for finding a book that sparked interest.
You should tell your father that he’s read more in 4 months than his blogger of a baby daddy (re: he said/she said) has read so far this year. …or you could omit that LOL.
But yeah I don’t know if I’d agree with the readers/non-readers thing at all. There are other avenues of enriching your life that isn’t bound by reading “books” (e.g. newspaper/magazines) and other mediums that doesn’t involve reading at all to gain something out of it. I don’t know the actual comparison (maybe those who are wiling to learn vs stagnation?).
Anyways, I’m glad you found something for your pops! You’re right in that it really takes just one read/television show/music track entering your life at the right time and piques the right interest to welcome the downward spiral toward this new [potential] enjoyment.
Interestingly, I have been reading some crime thrillers lately, there’ll be some reviews on the blog soon, and the Harlan Coben books he’s reading are mine on-loan, I just haven’t gotten to them yet. I won’t be picking up the SAS style books, because I tried one or two of them a few years ago, and they just aren’t for me, I prefer watching movies within that genre than reading about it.
Haha! blogger of a baby daddy. I love that. We need to get a post on the go soon – shall we do a discussion or review? Had we agreed a review book already?
Totally agree that there are numerous other hobbies and passions to have in life, but aside from all of those, I find people are either readers or not readers, even within the numerous other spectrums. You can be a gamer and be a non-reader, or be a gamer and be a reader, do you know what I mean? I’m talking the extreme end of the spectrum too – not someone who picks up a book once a year, but those who read regularly and those who never do it because they don’t like it/don’t understand why anyone would read.
That’s another great point that I didn’t bring up in the post, Dad recently retired, and it may also be that this has played a part in his sudden enjoyment of fiction, so not only is it a case of the right book, but also the right time. I know when I got back into reading again in a big way it was when I’d just graduated from Uni and found I could read for enjoyment again as opposed to study.
Thanks for commenting, J. R x
Haha, I loved reading this because it reminded me of when I converted my boyfriend into a reader! I think so many guys just shrug reading off because they think it wouldn’t be interesting to them, but if they were to just dive in and give books a chance I’m sure they’d love it as much as we do. It’s great now that you have a new way to bond, and that you even got him to convince a GR account! Now if we could just convince everyone else in the world to pick up a book 😉
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My dad was the same way – he didn’t read much at all when I was growing up. I introduced him to the Stephanie Plum novels (he loves comedy and Dog the bounty hunter, so I thought why not?) and he’s now read the entire series to date. He even read my little fantasy novel and enjoyed it, even though ‘it’s not what he usually reads’. *sniffle*
It really is about finding that “hook” isn’t it? It’s a great feeling, being a book lover, and getting someone else to find enjoyment in books. It’s surpassed my expectations with my dad though, I didn’t think he’d turn into a book gobbler! And it’s lovely that your dad read your book! Did you guys ever talk much about it, or has he tried other fantasy since? R x
I love this story! My husband is a non-reader, but I’m still hopeful he’ll find the right book one day.
Timing can absolutely play a huge role. I read a lot growing up, but the rate definitely dropped off considerably to almost non-existent while I was in college and law school, and even my first few years working as a document reviewer. No way was I going to read for fun when I read documents all day long. It wasn’t until the considerable downtime during a two-week cruise a couple of years ago that I really got back into the swing of things. Of course, blogging is a different story, but for now I’m grateful to be reading as much as I am.
Thanks for sharing such a great story!
It can happen! Dad has now become a ferocious reader, and just finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and ADORED it!!! 😀
I was the same – I cut back on the reading due to it seeming “uncool” during the peer pressure years, and then during Uni, when my required reading list took over my life. The minute I finished my degree I picked up a few books, and haven’t looked back. And yes, blogging now eats into my reading time, and for the past few months I’ve really pulled back, but I’ve no intentions of going anywhere. I’m doing 25 days of blogmas to get back into the swing of things. R xx
I was intrigued by the title, but the story was really heart warming. It give me hope that I might still be able to get some of my male friends to read one day…
Thanks, Karine! Never give up, timing + the right book, and anyone can fall in love with reading! R x
This post makes me far too happy! I always dream of turning someone into a total bookworm, but it hasn’t completely happened yet.
No, wait, I did with my little cousin. She used to read a lot, but only children’s books – mostly Jacqueline Wilson. But, for her 11th birthday, I wanted to get her a series she could truly get lost with. It was her first birthday without her mum, and I wanted fiction that would actually transport her somewhere else for a while. So, I picked The Hunger Games, knowing she was mature enough to handle it. She ended up reading all three in less than a week and proclaimed to me that she never knew books could be that good. She’s never looked back since and devours YA now. I AM A VERY PROUD COUSIN!!! 🙂
I think it’s great that you have something else to bond over and talk about. I wish I had something like that in common with my dad, because we don’t really share many interests.
It had never happened to me before, but now I’ve converted my first, I feel like I need another victim!
Aww, I LOVED Jacqueline Wilson. When I was younger I kind of went from children’s books to “chick-lit” overnight, and stayed there for a long time. I wish I had have had someone to introduce me to fantasy (I was recently shocked to discover that my #otspsecretsister wishlist is mostly fantasy, and I barely read that genre before 2014!), and other the other great books and genres out there. Haha it’s lovely that you managed to help her in that way, imagine how that will help shape the person she’ll become!
Now, I just need to work on broadening his genres, so we can actually talk about the same-ish books. I don’t read SAS fiction and have no intentions to, so for now our conversations revolve around writing style and plot devices (!). Dad hates when a book ends and wraps up within a couple of pages, and it seems to be common in that genre. I also update his Goodreads for him. But, baby steps. I’ll have him on a contemporary romance within the year I reckon! 😉 R x
I love this! Yay for gaining a new person to bond over books with! So, this means that there’s hope for my husband yet. I won’t give up …
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Definitely don’t give up! It took dad 40 years to pick up fiction and enjoy it, and now he’s making up for lost time. One day he’ll read Harry Potter, one day… R x
Yay! This post gives me hope for the non-readers in my life. I am so happy for your Dad to discover the joy of fiction and for you to share your love of books with him. Great post!
I’m glad to pass on the hope, Karen! I never had any before, I didn’t think devout non-readers could become insatiable ones, but if it has happened once, it can happen again! I do think timing is important too, my dad retired recently, and I don’t think he would have considered reading as easily if he didn’t have a little more spare time. Thanks for commenting! R x
[…] update, the Mean Girls Book Tag, the 1989 Book Tag, and wrote two discussions – one on how I Created A Monster, and one on BookTubing vs. Book […]
[…] #14 started because I successfully managed to convert my non-reader father into a complete and utter Book Geek. He reads all the time, and it started to become expensive to keep him in reading material. […]
Aw that’s great that you’ve introduced your father to such a rewarding hobby. Now I’m thinking about my close family and friends and wondering who I can experiment with! I think lining it up with his films/tv shows was a smart move and I’d say that’s why you were so successful. Love that you slipped in a historial fiction too in the stack! Next you’ll have to start him on YA!
By the way I LOVE Harlan Coben and have read all but one of his books. And I have that one, just haven’t made time to read it yet.
When I wrote this post, he was a tentative Book Geek, this has gotten worse (or better depending on how you look at it), and he LITERALLY goes no where without a book. I can’t buy/find him new material quick enough! He’s retired, and I’m so jealous of how much time he spends reading. Though chores have taken a hit as a result lol but for someone who NEVER read, I’m super happy about this. He tells me about what he’s reading and recommends books to me regularly. He’s already getting annoyed at tropes and has favourite authors and writing styles. You should definitely give it a go – I think it’s part timing and part finding a genre that would interest the person. Dad started with SAS style novels, and rarely reads them now, he’s moved on to crime/legal novels really, with the odd paranormal. He hasn’t tried the historical yet, but he likes TV Shows like The Tudors and Spartacus, so I’m keeping an eye out for books to do with those time periods. YA… Hmm… I’ll have to get him on to something. A dystopian maybe.
Dad LOVES Harlan Coben, and keeps recommending that I read him too. I bought a 10 book set from The Book People based on a recommendation from Brandie at Brandie is a Book Junkie, but I haven’t read them yet, and he’s read them all. I have to get to one of them soon!! R xx
[…] Hannah. I also deserve brownie points because my Dad is currently reading (and loving) it. Remember my non-reader Dad who is now a bookworm? This is an even bigger achievement because it’s so far from his reading comfort bubble, and […]
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