My first and second born children were bookworms from the get-go. I never had to encourage them to read; they just did it. Number three is different. He was an early reader like his siblings, and he reads well and fluently, but he doesn't love it like they did. My daughter thinks he might simply be wired differently; I do think that is true but can't help also wondering if his different reading habits are at least partly attributable to the effect his birth order has had on my parenting and homeschooling of him. (Sigh--I'm older and tireder than I was with the first two.)
I suppose at this point cause is of little consequence. He is the reader he is, which means that for the last few years I have been trying to find books that will hook him to the point that he reads of his own volition, not because it is assigned (he will obediently read when I make him). I long to see him get lost in a book the way I used to, such that the outside world fades from view and the book completely captures his imagination for an afternoon, day, or week. Over the years there are a few things that have done that for him; I have listed below the ones I can think of right now.
Calvin & Hobbes, Garfield, Peanuts and vintage Archie comics
Video game strategy guides
Magic School Bus series
Wayside School series
Encyclopedia Brown mysteries
Rush Revere series
This past week I took a chance and ordered a used set of the first five Hardy Boys books--the classic, not updated, ones. He is currently enjoying the first one, but it remains to be seen whether he will choose to read another. Some other series that have already been tried and rejected are Magic Tree House, Redwall, and Percy Jackson (we tried Percy Jackson because for a while he was enjoying reading D'aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, and he enjoyed it at first, but I think it was ultimately too intense for my HSC*). He does like the Narnia books, but maybe because he has seen the movies (?) he tends to read them in bits and pieces, skipping around, instead of sitting down and reading from cover to cover. So we just started The Magician's Nephew as a readaloud in the hope that maybe it will spark him to continue through the series in order.
Reflecting on all of this, I guess we are not doing so bad. I know there are parents who would be glad to see their children reading as much as my 10-year-old. I am just used to kids who read more! Perhaps I should not compare him to his siblings. But before he is beyond my influence I hope I can help him more fully experience the joy of reading. If you can comment with either commiseration or advice, please do!
*Highly sensitive child