Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do Teen and Pre-Teen Boys Like to Read?

I'm conducting an informal survey of why teen and pre-teen boys (ages 10-19) do or do not like to read. If you're a boy ages 10 to 19, please complete the survey below. Please only complete the survey once.

I'll be running the survey until the end of the month. Please share the link to this blog poll with others and encourage the teen and pre-teen boys you know to participate. Thanks.

Do you like to read?

I would read more if:

Books that interest me include:


  1. I think only having the options of Yes and No is just too limiting to answer the question.

    I answer like this: Boys (and everyone else) like to read if they have the right books. With the wrong books, boys (and everyone else) don't like to read.

    Match a kid with the right book and you have a reader.

  2. Will, you're absolutely right. That's why I have the follow up question that asks what would cause them to read more.

  3. I read your email and thought I'd try to answer.

    I've been interested in this subject for a long time. I've come to the conclusion that boys will read if its a subject matter they like, such as "Harry Potter" type stories, i.e. fantasy, science fiction, adventure.

    I fear agents and publishers have this idea that boys won't read so why should they publish stuff that appeals to them? Thus, most agents and publishers look almost exclusively for stories that appeal to girls and exclude boys in the equation.

    I wish there was some way for them to get the idea that boys would read if given material that appeals to them.

  4. Paul, I agree completely with you. I believe the demand for more books with boy appeal is there, but publishers and agents either don't see, understand, or relate to that demand. That's part of my motivation for this poll. I want to see if there's any validity to my opinion.

  5. Good luck. I hope you can do us "boy writers" some good.

    Part of the reason my novel hasn't sold is because I wrote it primarily for boys.

  6. Ken, my son is a reader when he has the time, which is mostly on school vacations. Based on his interests, I would include one other category in "Books that interest me include" and that is non-fiction. My son loves fantasy and adventure, but he also loves history - real history - and books about guitars, rock bands, and other music topics as well as things like how music affects the brain (I guess that's science) and other non-fiction topics. Maybe another avenue to explore?

  7. Susanna, thanks for pointing that out. I had intended to include non-fiction, but I must have inadvertently left it out. I'll have to see if I can add that in. It might not let me though.

  8. After reading this post and the comments here I get the feeling that boys don't like to read and that there are no books for boys to read. Those are very foreign ideas to me. I have seven boys and they all love to read. Many of them read every spare moment of the day. As for books, we take them to the library. They never have any trouble at all finding books. The only trouble they have is deciding which ones to read next.

  9. ChamFamDad, actually the hope of this post and survey is to show that boys really do like to read. However, there is a misconception in the publishing industry, and sometimes in schools, that boys don't like to read. I share your opinion in that I think in general boys do like to read. But if in fact they are not reading as much as girls, I want to gain some insight as to why?