The bad news is that 27% of Americans (probably Canadians too) did not read a book last year, according to Pew Research. Not even one book!

The good news is that teens are more likely than adults to read for pleasure. (On the other hand, they read for pleasure less and less as they get older, with 45% of 17-year-olds saying they read by choice only once or twice per year.)

In the cup-half-full version, however, 65% of respondents to the Pew study said they had read a print book in the past year, and the number of books that sell each year is inching up (6.1% the first half of 2016).

How do we encourage kids to read more? When they’re young, we should make sure our goal is to get them to read for pleasure, not to read a certain amount or a certain kind of book. And if you’re female with a son, ensure that a male reads to your boy now and again for the role model factor. Check out hundreds of other tips in my book Jump-Starting Boys.

Why? Because no parent or teacher wants their kids to be one of those 27%, right?

Sources: Erin Blakemore for, September 2, 2016 and Charlotte Alter for Time Magazine May 12, 2014.