The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Looking For Recommendations > books for the non-reader

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Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments so..i have a non-reading boyfriend..i know..its a tragedy..he's very supportive of my reading habit and even finds me coupons haha..but i cannot get him to read a darn book! I bought him the David Beckham autobiography recently and he's started on that..so..i need some recommendations for a someone who is a non-reader..i want to find him stuff that he likes..he's really into sports..namely basketball and soccer..he likes the Phillies too..he also is real into hiphop/rap... both of which i'd say i'm NOT an expert in..i mean i like sports..but i have no idea..and i hate hiphop. soo..any suggestions??


Jeane | 4887 comments Hi Jamie, my boyfriend is also a non-reader. besides the books written by Jostein Gaarder, he doesn-t read any and those are spread over probably ten years.
As he likes cartoons, he would read very rarely a kind of comic book of about maximum 100 pages. They are called Dylan Dog but in Italian.
He promised me when we would live in Dublin he is going to read The dubliners so I am going to buy him that as a birthday present next month. As we are in dublin now, he promised.

Does your boyfriend likes biographies? Then you could buy those of rappers or sport people. Are something like soccer teams. I read once a book about the soccer team of verona, the writer who followed them everywhere and went to every match that season to get into the culture of that team. Really interesting if you are into italian soccer for instance.


Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments Hmm...this is a tough one. My husband doesn't read much either unless it is philosophy or theology, but recently he got really into books about Ireland history and culture. Now he can't stop himself from buying one when he sees it. Once you find something to hook him, you probably won't be able to stop him. Finding books on artists and players he likes really is the best advice. And cultural books may be a good way to go too.

This might be a stretch, but I recently read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It's Haruki Murakami's memoir on training for marathons. If you could convince him to read it, he might develop a liking for the style and try some fiction. ;)

Anyway, good luck!


Terri (TerriSA-UK) My hubby is a non-reader, but he does read books about his sporting heroes (ie anyone who plays for Arsenal football club) and anything to do with the Ramones. So I'd suggest finding out the names of some of the bands/singers and getting hold of some biogs.

Oh, he also enjoyed The Da Vinci Code ....

Or what about the Chris Ryan books about the SAS... not sure exactly what they're called, but they seem to be popular with the male species!


Michelle (mcd724) | 118 comments If he likes basketball, he might like My Losing Season by Pat Conroy. It is just enough about basketball with a little family drama thrown in. Also, Nick Hornby wrote a great book about Arsenal called Fever Pitch. They made a movie about it but Americanized it and made it about the Boston Red Sox.


Terri (TerriSA-UK) Oh yes, Fever Pitch is great book and film! My hubby was at that match! And funny that they made it about the Red Sox - he loves them too!


Michelle (mcd724) | 118 comments Same here...now there is a random coincidence and combination...


Jensownzoo | 338 comments My brother isn't much of a reader, but he does like books of trivia and such. They don't require a lot of time commitment and he can trot out facts to impress his friends later.


Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments hmm thanks everyone! i'm getting some good ideas..i'm definitely checking out some autobiographies of his favorite sports stars (allen iverson, steven gerrard. etc.) and also..i'm definitely going to check out My Losing Season (one of the kids on his bball team was raving about that book) and Fever Pitch..and i LOVE the idea of trivia books..maybe i can find a sports one.

great ideas everyone! i'm looking into all the books suggested! anything to get him to read.


Dorie (DorieAnn) | 431 comments How about graphic novels? They are fairly quick and easy to read, and they have a wide selection. I read 'Maus' not too long ago and was blown away.


message 11: by Jamie (last edited Nov 24, 2008 06:15AM) (new)

Jamie My DH isn't a reader but he's read Sun Tzu's The Art of War multiple times and he also loved James Bradley's Flags of Our Fathers. I suppose this may be related to the fact that he's a Marine, but I thought I'd mention them anyway.


Michelle (mcd724) | 118 comments Mental Floss puts out some really random trivia books that are informative, but not information any one really needs to know...which make them kind of perfect, because you can just skim them. They have one based on history and others on random topics.


Heather (hsditto) My husband isn't much of a reader either...But he is a HUGE Star Wars fan and will periodically read some of the SW books that are available. He also recently read a couple books based on a video game he really enjoyed.

It's funny how so many of us have ended up with spouses/significant others that aren't big readers! Opposites attract... :)


Fiona (bookcoop) I find it funny that we try to train our non-reading halves into reading. Hope you succeed!

I am interested in reading Maus, but I'm not sure if it will catch my concentration.


Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments haha i know..i struggle between trying too hard to convert him to a reader and letting him be who he is..which might be a non-reader. i mean..basically i am trying to introduce him to some material that he might have never picked up..and if he likes it..then he likes it..if he doesn't ever pick up reading..than thats ok with me too because he supports me and will even slip me coupons for book stores..which is always great! :)


Kathy  (readr4ever) | 511 comments Heather, it is interesting that we avid readers have hooked up with non-readers or ones whose lives don't depend on reading. It seems that, and I don't think this statement is an too much of a generalization, those men who aren't readers will crack open a non-fiction book more easily than a fiction read. I search for non-fiction books for my husband about subjects that interest him, and I am always so thrilled when I buy him one that he likes. He did seem to like the Tom Clancy fiction when we would listen to it on a road trip, about the only fiction I can ever remember him listening to or reading. At least I've been able to mold my children into readers. Of course, I still push books at them to ensure that they are on the yellow brick road of reading.


Petra X  (PetraX) Do you think women read more than men? Certainly I have many more female customers than male.


message 18: by Kathy (last edited Nov 24, 2008 07:01PM) (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 511 comments You know, Petra, I think maybe women give themselves persmission to read more. I think men feel guiltier about sitting down and spending time reading. Also, as an educator and having a real interest in boys and reading, there are some problems that start occurring around 5th or 6th grade, where we lose boys as readers. Then, there is the lack of validation that boys go through as they get older in the area of what educators recognize as literacy or reading materials. Boys' reading materials don't always fit the old definition of literacy. It also doesn't help that too often in high school, boys end up reading an endless number of books about women and their journey and not enough about men. It does seem like the pendulum is swinging a bit in the favor of boys, and more books are being selected as required reading that appeal to both sexes. It is a researched fact that girls will more often read what interests boys than boys will read what interests girls.


Heather (hsditto) Kathy, thanks for sharing your perspective on that! That is really interesting...something I hadn't really considered before. I have two boys, my oldest is almost 8, and we have very different tastes in books. While I always want us to read a good fiction story, he wants to go with something non-fiction. Usually a book about animals. And here is something that makes me sad...he has lost some of his love of books and reading since being in school and "having" to read as "homework". I still try and encourage him to read for fun and not just school. He will sometimes, but not nearly as much as he used to. We used to read together ALL THE TIME. I really miss those days, and desperately hope he doesn't lose that love of reading he's had since he was very young.


Kathy  (readr4ever) | 511 comments Just don't give up, Heather. You're at a tough time for keeping boys in the reading game. Do let him read his non-fiction and share some that you find with him. You might try finding a fiction story that incorporates one of his non-fiction interests. Yes, sometimes we have to trick our children. Ha, ha. Also, my son is who led me to read more fantasy and science fiction, areas a lot of boys tend to favor in fiction. Bruce Coville's A Goblin in the Castle is one that my son and I enjoyed when he was in elementary school, along with the Jon Scieszka Time Warp Trio series. Boys also enjoy humor, which the Time Warp Trio features. It's also about a trio of boys, which helps, too. A Goblin in the Castle combines the elements of fantasy and a little horror, which seems to interests boys. Coville has some other books that might interest your son. I think one is called Jeremy and the Dragon, or something like that. When he gets older, 5th grade or so, Paul Jennings is a great author with his weird stories in books, like Unmentionable and Unreal.


Heather (hsditto) Kathy, thanks for the book recommendations! I can't wait to check them out, especially Jeremy and the Dragon, as my son loves anything with dragons! He also really enjoys fantasy so you were dead-on with the books you mentioned. And that's a great suggestion about finding fiction stories that incorporate his non-fiction interests! We did that on our last trip to the library and I did manage to find a couple fiction stories to mix in with his others. Great idea!

*Thank you also for the encouragement :)


Allison | 195 comments my fiancee isn't a reader, but i've gotten him to pick up a few books that he's enjoyed:

the twilight series (and only because the books will (were?) be in edwards pov)

in the woods- tana french

shooter (i can't recall the author, but it's about a sniper, but not the movie shooter)


JG (The Introverted Reader) My hubby's not a reader either, but he's been trying hard for my sake lately. He does like to occasionally read thrillers. His favorite author is Robin Cook. He's also enjoyed Dan Brown, Tess Gerritsen, Neil Gaiman, and Patricia Cornwell. He also read the last two HP books. That was a huge commitment for him! But, generally, something action-packed and a pretty easy read works.


Jeane | 4887 comments If he is interested in the place where he lives or region, state or so he could read about that too or something inspired on it. I just moved to Dublin and my boyfriend promised me before he would read Dubliners by James Joyce when we would live in Dublin.


Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments picked up the steven gerrard autobiography and My Losing Season for Christmas.i'm going to keep the rest of these ideas and suggestions in mind for the next time i might want to surprise him with a book. haha..which im sure he's overjoyed about.. :)

thanks for all the suggestions.


Jeane | 4887 comments Good luck Jamie. I hope he will like them and realize what he is missing in his life!!!


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Get Letters from a Nut. Way too funny.


Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 636 comments ooh i'll have to check that out.


Carol (caroldias) | 624 comments My boyfriend is a non-reader too and I´m always trying to make him read, but it´s read realllly hard. He complains everything is too slow and he can´t concentrate :(

I tried Harry Potter but he never finished.
I´ll try the Da Vinci Code, I forgot about this book, it´s pretty intense so maybe he´ll give it a try


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Books mentioned in this topic

Flags of Our Fathers (other topics)
The Art of War (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Robin Cook (other topics)
Tess Gerritsen (other topics)
Patricia Cornwell (other topics)
Dan Brown (other topics)
Neil Gaiman (other topics)