Reading for boys

Looking back over the best part of 5 decades, it’s hard to remember what I read as a boy. Of course, there were the regular weekly reads courtesy of The Beano and The Dandy and their host of colourful characters, plus other comics, but when it comes down to actual books, the memory gets a bit hazy.

However, I do remember that Robert Louis Stevenson‘s canon came in for lots of reading and I remember paying regular visits to the local lending library in Market Drayton where we lived, as well as burrowing under the bedclothes with a torch and book after lights out.

I also recall both my sister Hilary and I used to tease our younger brother Andrew unmercifully about his love of Enid Blyton when we believed there was better ‘quality’ literature available for children. Maybe we should have been more generous: at least he was reading something.

image of boy reading
Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

All of which brings me to the point of this post. Via Twitter contacts in Shropshire I’ve been made aware of The Boy Reader Blog written by Matthew Swain of Shrewsbury.

The Boy Reader Blog’s byline is: “A blog written by a 10 year old boy Matthew to try and encourage more boys to read.” Apparently, boys are less inclined to read than are girls and Matthew, who loves reading, has bravely decided to stick his head above the parapet in the hope of giving his male contemporaries a bit of encouragement and providing them with an example.

Or to put the paragraph above in Matthew’s own words from his first post:

Hi I’m Matthew I’m 10 and I LOVE READING. I have decided to write a blog about reading from a boys point of view. My aim is to get boys to cut down on the video games and read a little bit more. To be honest I never used to like reading myself, the Biff and Chip books at school were boring, but the 2009 world book day is where it all began with a short Beast Quest book by Adam Blade which my mum bought for something different to read at bedtime. Mum or dad always read me a story at bedtime but I liked the look of this book and decided to try and read it myself. Ever since then I’ve never wanted to stop reading (and still don’t) I’ve noticed that a lot of other boys prefer video games than reading and that is why I have started this blog to try and help them on the reading journey.

Matthew also makes regular suggestions and recommendations for reading, such as the Book of the Week for 7th October.

I’d like to wish Matthew every success with his efforts to get his peers reading, not to mention keeping up a regular supply of posts! 🙂