Read Your Way To The Top

As we come towards the end of our solid campaign, we reflect back on the importance of installing a reading culture among youngsters.

The problem is far worse than we realise, where even with the popularity of young adult fiction like Harry Potter and Twilight the problem still remains. Throughout our campaign, we have shown the reasons behind youngsters not reading and also the ways by which if incorporated can help stop the decline of the reading habit.

‘Read your way to the top’ isn’t just a random message but is sincerely targetted towards the reality of what can happen if you follow it. There is no shortcut to the solution but requires the involvement of people to raise this concern on the behalf of making a smart world in the future. We would want our leaders, innovators and artists to be technically sound and mentally gifted. Books are an important catalyst in establishing such a role.

Everyone especially parents and teachers has a bigger role to play in making this younger generation lose their mindset regarding reading, and cultivate an open viewpoint towards such a habit.

We also urge the people following our campaign to get involved by creating a difference by preaching the benefits and making others aware of the dire need to make a change before it is too late.

Before we sign off, we would like to thank our readers for their immense support and endless love, now its time we use our learning and strive together to make a peaceful reading world.

-Paras Agarwal



There are a number of programs and organizations that are providing enough resources to help build a love of reading among children.

Here are some notable mentions.



The Premier’s Reading Challenge is a literacy initiative developed by Australian state governments. It is set not as a competitive event, but rather as an individual challenge to each student, as well as to promote a love of reading books. The challenge is run in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria. It has been embraced by more than 95% of public, private and religious schools.

The guidelines to the program in each state differ slightly, but students must generally read a minimum of books within a certain amount of books, within a certain amount of time. In some states, these books must be a combination of personal choice books and other books from a pre-selected list of approved literature.
For more information on the program, visit their sites.



Ziptales is an online literacy “library” designed for school and home use. Ziptales has been a leader in the field of online literacy for more than 12 years. It is based on the latest research about how children develop and sustain a love of reading. The Ziptales “library” was built by trained teachers with the express purpose of making reading a pleasurable and lifelong experience.

How does it work?

Kids usually login to ziptales from school or home, where they get a database of hundreds of stories and activities to choose from. They have the option to read with or without animated voiceovers.


Brightly is a resource to help moms and dads raise lifelong readers. Launched in partnership with Penguin Random House, Brightly features book recommendations from all publishers for every age and stage, reading tips and insights, seasonal inspirations, author essays, contests, gift guides, and more.


If you find this information useful, please leave a like or comment.


-Paras Agarwal






Parents know how to inspire a love of books in babies and toddlers, but as kids get older and go to school, reading can be seen as work rather than fun — and kids, especially teens, may stop reading for pleasure.

Here are few tips that can help parents to become a reading role model that their child needs.


Make explicit connections between your child’s ability to read and her future options in life. If your child is thinking about college or a career path, have open, honest discussions about the ways reading might be necessary for her success. Just be careful to discuss, not preach. Encourage your child to brainstorm with you and to generate some of the ideas you discuss.


The best way to encourage your child to read is to allow them to read whatever they find engaging, whether it’s comic books, cookbooks or romance novels about vampires or zombies. The books they are drawn to might not be your favourites but don’t discourage their preferences. Reading is reading. Avoid any urge to censor her choices.


Hollywood is turning to teen lit for ideas more than ever. Offer your child the print version to read before or after a big film adaptation comes out, and talk about the similarities and differences between the two. Check out our list of Books to Read Before They’re Movies in 2016.


The best way to create a culture of reading in your home is to read as much as possible. Read at home where your teens can see you. Talk about what you’re reading, and express your enjoyment. Always take a book or magazine along when you go to the beach or face waiting in a long line. Send your teen the message that reading is a pleasure, not a chore. The more your child sees you reading, the more likely they will follow suit. This doesn’t change once your child enters high school. Teens are even more resistant to any message that implies do as I say, not as I do.


If your child likes texting friends and posting on social networks, you can give them mini-assignments that use those interests. For example, encourage them to start following a blog and to read interesting posts aloud to you occasionally. Or you could ask them to be on the lookout for interesting abbreviations people use in texts and get them to make a cheat sheet or to quiz you on what these abbreviations stand for.


Kids who grow up with lots of books around tend to read more. Stock the bathroom, car, dining table — wherever there’s a captive audience — with comic books, graphic novels, and magazines geared to your teens’ interests; first books in hit young adult series; or classic sci-fi and mysteries.


Highlight the ways that your high-schooler can use reading to keep tabs on what’s happening in her world. Encourage your child to pick up a newspaper or subscribe to a magazine. For teens with learning and attention issues, reading might seem frustrating or boring. But if your child is interested in sports, politics, celebrities, music, you name it, there will always be something they might want to read!

Please leave a like and comment with other useful tips.

-Paras Agarwal

The rise of e-reading


SOURCE: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Reading Habits Survey


With the rise of technology, the cultural shift from print to electronic media was inevitable. Along with it, comes a more debatable topic on whether the former is better than the latter.

An interview with a couple of teenagers and young adults revealed some astonishing insights.

Q: Why are young people—who are accustomed to doing most things on screens—resistant to e-books?

Adam Iacono: I think distraction is the biggest factor on the being resistant to ebooks. A lot of times our mind get pulled away on many other things, that ultimately stops us from paying attention to what we were reading.

Nick Elegant: For me, it has always been with the problem of eye strain and headaches and physical discomfort.

Q: Do students feel like they’re learning more when they actually read books in print, but do we know whether they actually retain more?

Nishanth Mudkey: I think it doesn’t matter, as long as they read with genuine interest. But yes there is a sense of accomplishment when I finish a book and I want to see it on the shelf.

Q: Do e-books make reading a more social, less personal experience?

Vanessa Lee: If you’re annotating on a Kindle, on a Kobo, you see—you know how many people thought that word was really important, or maybe everybody else liked this passage. If we sat and thought about it, what we think the author has to say. … Rather, we’re just trying to present ourselves or fit in.

Q: Why do students buy e-books ?

Mathew Williams: Price. I’d like to have the print version, but the electronic version is so much less expensive.

Niloufar Lajevardi: One of the reasons I think could be to save the environment. The idea of making a difference in the world by condemning the use of paper through reading electronic media can be seen as doing a noble work.

If you find this post helpful, please leave a like and do comment on whether you think e-reading will make youngsters read.

-Paras Agarwal

101: How to read more books

If you are reading this, chances are you are struggling to cope up with the sheer amount of books available nowadays. It could be an overwhelming process to choose a book and sticking to it. The first step can be an excruciating barrier that can stop you from gaining all the knowledge that those books have to offer.

How to take the plunge?

Let’s take a quick look at a step-to-step guide that can be an effective way for you to break that mental barrier and form a lifelong habit that can generate a lot of positives in life.

1. Choose a book that appeals to you

Ask yourself, why to waste time on things that do not hold a purpose you want to achieve. It is easy to fall into reading ruts where you can feel pressurized to read the trendy topics or some omniscient embodiment of the literary community that has no significance on your interest and hobbies. It’s better to indulge your mind in books that align with your passion and force you to think and construct new ideologies.

2. Keep a book where you like to relax

The easiest way to make something a habit is to remove any friction. After you come home from work, you shouldn’t lose time deciding on something to read or digging through your room looking for a paperback you started on your last flight. The best way to overcome the distraction is to place your book at a place where you are likely to relax.

3. Repurpose your time

In a world of easily accessible media, it is easy enough for a person to get distracted by the vast majority of content including videos, music and games. If you look at it in terms of raw numbers, the average person watches 35 hours of TV each week, the average commute time is one hour per day round-trip, and you can spend at least another hour per week for grocery shopping. All in all, that’s a total of 43 hours per week, and at least some of that could be spent reading books.

Structuring your time wisely will establish lifelong benefits by increasing the productivity levels while keeping your brain wiser and sharper.

4. Create different ways to read

If you have a traditional outlook on reading books, and you feel it is boring, it is time you change. Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Workweek and a handful of other bestsellers has developed a technique that allows the reader to read 300% faster than usual.

The first technique, the tracker/pacer, is to use a pen as a tracker or pacer instead of fingers to run across the lines. Ferriss calls this second technique Perceptual Expansion. With practice, you train your peripheral vision to be more effective by picking up the words that you don’t track directly with your eye.Rapid eye movements called saccades occur constantly as we read and as our eyes jump from margins to words. Minimising these are a key way to boost your reading times.

The takeaway here: If you can advance your peripheral vision, you may be able to read faster—maybe not 300 percent faster, but every little bit counts.

Another innovative way to read books is to utilize applications such as Spritz and Blinkist that take unique approaches to helping you read more—one helps you read faster and the other helps you digest books quicker. *Click on the hyperlinks to understand more about them*

5. Read every day

Reading isn’t something to be done once a week to check a box, it’s something to do every day.

A strategy that would allow you to read more books without letting typical distractions get in the way is to read 20 pages to start the day.
James Clear’s technique of utilizing 30 minutes of his early morning to read 20 pages has helped him develop his reading habits from reactive to proactive. Usually, we read on the basis of our reactions, when we see an interesting link flashing across the screens on Facebook or Twitter. Instead of proactively engaging with a book, most of our time is used on reading content online. From a learning perspective, it’s probably a better use of time to read books because of its higher quality information (better fact-checking and more extensive research).

This reading strategy asks you to invest in yourself by picking a book daily before the normal bustle of the day.

These guidelines are basic and fundamental to help you in making your life productive and worthwhile. Every book you read, and the information you gather helps you in future in one way or another- be at dinner conversations, impressing your colleagues or making an argument on forums. The wealth of a person lies in his knowledge, which gets only better as it supported by the wonderful openness of the world.

The only thing that’s stopping you from reading a book is YOU. So shrug that mental block and climb onto the reading ladder.

If this post inspired you and taught you some pointers on how to read more books, please leave a comment. We also hope you’ll encourage others to make valuable use of their time and make them prioritize reading as a part of life.

What would make them read more?


Strategies for Choice
Time spent reading is an investment, therefore it is important to choose the right type of book before investing.

There have been studies that show not a lot of students are equipped with strategies for selecting books and are unaware of currently existing tools to help them support their search. While some students are heavily dependent on parent or friend recommendations, many students had little opportunity to gain knowledge of books and authors, as their closest social influences were not actively engaged in book reading, underpinning the importance of effective strategies for choice and exposure to a broad range of different authors and genres.

Explicitly teaching choosing strategies may increase the number of positive matches between students and books.

Access to attractive, relevant and diverse books

Once appropriate choosing strategies have been acquired, students need ready access to interesting books that are both attractive and diverse. The look of the book, encompassing book size, colour and cover, and even the title font, influenced their choice.

Authors, publication companies should ensure that the design and the aesthetic appeal of the books must align with the right demographics, as it can do wonders in attracting publics.

Time availability

Some students were genuinely unable to read books for recreation due to heavy non-recreational commitments, including paid work, sibling care and a substantial load of schoolwork.

Schools need to incorporate silent reading into their schedule, that will enable them to utilise their available time in an appropriate manner and without the hindrances of external activities after school.

Time allocation

Many students did not read because they chose not to, making the decision to allocate their allotted recreation time into more appealing pursuits. The ready availability of technology within their immediate domestic sphere and an apparent lack of restriction on their use of technology enabled many students to spend the majority of their recreation time as screen time, whether on a computer, phone, tablet or TV.

Parents need to install a period of abstinence from electronic devices which could increase the likelihood that time would be allocated to recreational book reading in the absence of screen-based alternatives.



It is apparent that concentration is the prime reason that significantly affect some students’ inclinations not only to initially engage in the book reading process but to sustain reading for more than a short period of time. Literate students may struggle with the cognitive demands of book reading, and this may discourage them from regularly undertaking the practice.

Media multitasking that involves engaging in more than one screen-based activity simultaneously: for example, watching television and texting, or watching music videos on a tablet while Instant Messaging, can be cited as a reason to cause problems in the nature of human cognition that can create hazards in concentration when reading books.

Parents, teachers, friends and peers potentially influence students to engage in recreational book reading more regularly. The current generation of adolescents is characterised by a social nature and a subsequent craving for interactivity. Now, more than ever, students need the chance to talk about books in a supportive environment. Educators can create platforms for peer encouragement on a broader scale. Home environment can act as a catalyst to support the initial engagement and transform it as a daily activity.

Survival of the Fittest



Lately, in the past decade, there has been a surge of movies based on books especially children/young adult fiction books. Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, Chronicle of Narnia, The Polar Express have all not just been movies adapted from books but have been highly successful in terms of revenue collection.

This brings us to two important questions –

Why read a book when you can watch it as a movie?


Can watching movies increase the determination in youngsters to read books?

These are two questions that are quite contradictory and yet go hand in hand. There are statements and arguments on both sides where some could argue that teenagers are more fascinated with the visual material than literary but many also believe that movies are the building block for reading books. On one hand, the book-based movie provides reinforcements for a struggling reader as it enhances the reading experience and allows the reader to visually connect with the words, allowing them to make necessary connections and help them comprehend what they normally wouldn’t be able to due to the low reading comprehension skills. But on the other hand, for an avid reader, the movie adaptation ruins the imagination and makes the reading experience uninteresting which contributes to the failure of having a deep attention span when reading that book. The risk factor involved in a movie adaption is also high as it could potentially damage the even slightest inclination for people to read the book if that movie turns out to be bad because it was poorly adapted from the book.

Let’s look at the stats.

In 2001, NPD Funworld found that seventy-nine percent of children ages 6-17, and seventy-one percent of adults who have read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone planned on seeing the first Harry Potter movie (NPD). It is evident and quite logical that the majority of children and adults who have read books will definitely go and watch the movie adaption. But the question lies in whether these movies can make readers out of students that are reluctant to read. According to the book sales figures, children’s book-based movies bring interest to the books upon which they are based. The Polar Express normally sells approximately 200,000 copies every winter holiday season, but the movie release in November 2004 led to three million copies sold during the 2004 holiday season. Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting also sold more than six times more the year it appeared on the big screen. If one were to look at just the book sales it would appear that book-based movies do generate an interest in the books.

The notion that movie adaptations are bad for the reading culture is debatable, where it might influence the audience’s preference for choosing the medium to digest the story, however, it also opens up the possibility and curiosity among viewers to explore more in depth narration and characters through books.

Tell us your favorite movie adaptation in the comments below.

Also get involved by encouraging children and offer words of wisdom on social media, use the hashtag #risethroughreading.

-Paras Agarwal