We all know that reading is important. Study after study has shown that there are children who read regularly benefit in lots of ways, including doing better at school, experiencing reduced stress and having improved concentration spans. In a digital world with so many entertainment options just a click away, how can parents encourage their children to read?

What does your child like?

There are millions of books to choose from, which means that somewhere in the world is the perfect book for your child! A good place to start is to have a conversation about what kinds of books they like to read. Some kids love fantasy or fairy tales, others love non-fiction books full of facts and others enjoy a contemporary story in a modern setting. Work out what interests your child and either go to your local book shop or ask online for recommendations of specific titles.

Make reading part of the routine

In primary school particularly, parents are able to take steps to make reading part of the daily routine. Whether it’s 10 minutes of reading in bed before lights out or reading in the car on the way to school, making reading a regular part of the day pays dividends. If your child is resistant to the idea at first, maybe you could decide to do a one-month trial? And if your child really, really doesn’t want to read, borrow an audiobook from your local library. Long car trips can be made so much easier by listening to a good book.

Go digital

If your child is still not convinced that reading is an exciting and valuable pursuit, there’s always the option of investing in a e-reader. For around $100, you can by a Kindle or Kobo e-reader which has the feel of a device but is actually just a digital book. There are no games or apps to distract your child from reading; it’s just a modern format for an old-fashioned pastime. There are a number of advantages to going digital. You can purchase new books at the click of a button, share books on multiple devices and free up space on your bookshelf. And because it feels like screen time (minus the damaging blue light from the screen) you may just find your kids embrace it more readily than a physical book.

Reading regularly is something to be encouraged for children and adults alike. In this fast-paced digital world, it can be tricky to engage our children in books. But remember, if all else fails, sharing a book together and reading aloud is always an option. And if you want your kids to be voracious readers, maybe it’s time for you to lead by example and pick up a good book too!