BYU Radio

Reading Stamina

As a librarian, the most frequent question I am asked is how can I get my non-reader to be a reader?  Developing a good reader from a reluctant or struggling reader is certainly a complex problem that can be solved with many different approaches. But for today, let’s talk a little bit about a very important aspect of this issue called reading stamina. Having stamina for something means that you are able to stick with it over a long period of time.  One characteristic of a good reader is that they are able to stick with reading over a long period even when the reading may be difficult. Hence, good readers have good reading stamina. Individuals with poor reading stamina usually do not enjoy reading and find that they get bored with it easily. One way that we can help reluctant readers become good readers is to build reading stamina. If you asked me to do 100 pushups having never done one in my life, the reality is that I could not do it; I would need to build up the stamina to do them. The same is true for reading. We can’t expect a reader to go from little to no stamina, to reading like a champ.  So the first step in building reading stamina is to practice!  Just as we build from 1 to 100 pushups, we need to build from 1 to 100 minutes of reading. Starting small and then extending ourselves helps us to build stamina. In this building process it’s important to celebrate the progress. Comments like, “You read ten minutes today and you stuck with it even when you got to those hard words—great job!” Help children see the connection between effort and achievement.  A little practice every day is one good way to help those struggling readers build up those really important reading muscles.

By Rachel Wadham, Host of WORLDS AWAITING


At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

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