I wish Donalyn Miller had been my teacher growing up. In her book, The Book Whisperer, she explains how she became the teacher she is today. Yes, she embedded a great many instructional leaders’ insights into her teaching philosophy. It’s apparent she knows her stuff when it comes to educational best practices and instructional pedagogy.
It's not always about subjects or areas of interest, though. Sometimes, it’s a particular author who may turn on a student to reading. Gary Paulsen and Mike Lupica have turned many a boy on to reading through a mutual love of the outdoors and sports, respectively. Stephanie Meyer used vampires and werewolves to tell a love story, and turned girls on to reading along the way. For me, it was a subject. For others. it’s an author. For others, it’s a mutual respect for a type of writing because “Mommy likes it, too.” Just remember, it's not that your child hates reading. It's that he or she just hasn't found anything they want to read yet. Once they do, they'll go crazy. And, it doesn't have to be just young people. I know of an adult (I won't mention his name here) who "never read" (His words...and his wife's, too). I asked him to read one of my manuscripts because of his specialty in the work force. Now, he owns an e-reader, and his wife has to monitor the credit card and limit his purchases.
Regardless of the interest, capitalize on it, and then help your child expand their horizons along the way. Whether it be a love for gaming, a desire to go camping, a love for fishing, an almost "obsession" with fashion, use that to your advantage. There are magazines, books, websites out there on almost everything. Vet them, hand them over to your child, and watch the miracle of reading begin. And, never stop helping your reader keep pushing the door open. When their horizons expand, help them find that reading material, too. Barn doors are big. They can open just enough to let a small child out. They can open more and allow a horse to escape. But if you want the tractor, you know, the big one, those barn doors need to be opened wide.
*Generic photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.