St Albans author’s advice on creating next generation of bookworms

St Albans author Alex Johnson wants to encourage a lifelong love of reading.

St Albans author Alex Johnson wants to encourage a lifelong love of reading. - Credit: Archant

With schools closed and the population in lockdown for the foreseeable future, there’s never been a better time to help our children become active readers.

St Albans author, journalist and blogger Alex Johnson believes reading is even more important today, and people are valuing books more than ever.

He cites the sales of printed special editions, the revival in reading aloud, the increased interest in poetry anthologies and the opening of independent retailers like our own Books on the Hill as proof.

But which are the best books for children to read and how can we encourage their reading and maintain their interest?

In his 10th book, ‘How to Give Your Child a Lifelong Love of Reading’, Alex answers these questions and many more, to ensure a new generation of bookworms are whisked away to magical worlds and essential discoveries.

It combines practical advice and thought-provoking reflections from some of the nation’s best-loved children’s writers, including Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen, Cressida Cowell and more.

He said: “Reading is fun. It’s an escape from boredom, which is particularly important at the moment, perhaps to an alternative world or to an alternative way of looking at this world. It also offers children independence.

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“The chance to imagine themselves in somebody else’s shoes gives children the chance to explore who they are and who they can be. For nearly two decades I have been a parent myself, encouraging my three children to develop a similar love of books from their earliest days, introducing them to the delights of wordless picture books, reading to them at bedtime, helping them through the first steps of reading for themselves, nudging them to keep going when they discovered the delights of the screen, and now watching them discover a wonderful new world of book possibilities as they hit adulthood.

“There are no rules you must follow in the book, but it does have plenty of tips and suggestions for how to help make reading enjoyable, with sections on picture books, poetry, audiobooks, ereading, and a helpful section by section suggested reading list put together for the book by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.”

How to Give Your Child a Lifelong Love of Reading is available now from Books on the Hill and Waterstones