We love unearthing books for reluctant readers, and I Hate Reading by Beth Bacon is unlike anything we’ve come across before. It’s aimed at an outrageous subsection of young readers, those wishing to hoodwink gullible adults into believing they’ve become devoted bookworms overnight. If the bookish bore in your child’s life (surely not you?) is nagging them to open a book, try this one. Filled with hints and tips on how to fool people into thinking you’re reading, it’s a must for anti-book bamboozlers everywhere.
‘Ok, you have to read for 20 minutes but you don’t want to.’
Open this book, follow the rules within, and the time will zoom by, beginning with the basic act of bum placed on seat, looking directly at book, with eyes moving from side to side in pretended fascination. This can of course be sustained for the entire 20 minutes, or you could just try actually glancing at a few really easy words. Now how about some harder ones, like maybe the words ‘archipelago’ and ‘plutonium’? Too hard? Never mind, let’s move on to some top tips from the author’s children, Arthur and Henry.
Arthur and Henry are ingenious souls and I loved their how-to guide on avoiding reading, even the unsettling ideas involving blood, throwing up, and what to do about the kids at school who actually LIKE to read.
Fun, silly, and cheerfully meta, this mischievous and conspiratorial book even contains a double blank page, to rest the tired eyes of all book haters.
Its author, Beth Bacon, has a special interest in writing for reluctant readers and has said that she wrote I Hate Reading in order to validate their experience and reward them with laughter. A laugh-out-loud success then, for both the duper and the duped, whichever way round they may be.
I Hate Reading by Beth Bacon is published by Pushkin Children’s Books, 112 pages.