When it’s time to choose books to read, kids will often reach for old favourites. This isn’t a bad thing — there are benefits in repeating the same stories over and over. But it’s possible they just don’t know what else is hidden deep in the shelves.
To encourage kids to read new stories, a simple trick is to display some books face-out. Sarah Mackenzie has recommended this tip on her Read-Aloud Revival podcast, explaining that “a good book cover is an irresistible invitation”.
I can attest that it works. In my daughter’s room, there is a standard bookcase that does a fine job of storing many books. But there are also a few picture ledges on the wall, where I can keep displaying new titles or ones we haven’t picked up in a while.
They always catch her eye, and she wants to read them immediately. How can she not? It’s like the “Trending Now” row on Netflix. A few of our recent favourites: A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell, The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton, and Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kann.
When you change up the display, which can be on a shelf or a chest of drawers or a picture ledge like ours, don’t say anything — just watch what happens. Your kids will love discovering new books and choosing them on their own. And if the title “just happens” to be How to Clean Your Room Like a Champ, so be it.