How to encourage ‘reluctant reader’ youngsters


By Carole Howard 

PREVIEW Columnist, and the library staff

For some early readers, a big block of text is like a giant stop sign — which is why these youngsters often get tagged with the “reluctant reader” label. 

Here are some insights and tips from Pamela Paul and Maria Russo’s New York Times article on “How to Raise a Reader” to help inspire a less enthusiastic reader and find books your child will love:

• Format doesn’t matter. Many chapter books with highly visual, comics-influenced formats were written specifically to help reluctant readers and children with challenges like dyslexia. Youngsters still learn reading skills with these more visually driven books.

• Make room for comics and manga. Don’t denigrate these genres. Many of the most celebrated literary figures of our time not only grew up devouring comics, but also incorporate comics-inspired themes into their prize-winning novels.

• A book about a computer game is still a book. If your child has a favorite computer or video game, you often can find a book counterpart, which is a great way to steer your child toward the pleasures of text.

• Don’t forget nonfiction. Some reluctant readers are fact-gatherers who may be more inspired by nonfiction, especially when it’s presented in a highly visual format. Look for books about animals, the solar system, presidents, states, ancient history and other topics your child is interested in.

• Never treat books as a chore. Don’t say, “If you spend 30 minutes reading, you’ll get to play.” If you want your child to be excited about reading, you should be also. Make sure your child sees you reading regularly, preferably daily.

Flu season protocols

The curbside service that we began in COVID times continues — and it’s a healthful option as we head into the cold and flu season. If you’re feeling sick, you’re probably eager for DVDs while you heal and books to keep you company. To save your energy and lessen germ exposure to other patrons, we recommend you use our curbside service — or add a name to your account authorizing that person to pick up items for you while you recuperate. Library hours:

• Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

• Tuesdays and Thursdays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Saturdays, your library is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

New format for
activities calendar

To be sure you don’t miss any of the free library activities available to you and your family, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. Its new streamlined format combines all the activities and events for children, teens and adults on one handy, two-sided page.

Lifelong Learning series continues this evening

The fourth talk in our all-new free Lifelong Learning lecture series takes place this evening, Thursday, Nov. 3, when we showcase C. Neal Johnson offering information on “Business as Mission (BAM),” his new self-published book which tells you how to start your own business from scratch, buy an existing business or join a franchise. 

This lecture series runs for six weeks every Thursday through Nov. 17 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. November our first in-person Lifelong Learning lecture series since the fall of 2019, before COVID. No registration is required.

Our final two speakers will be April Holthaus and Dan Senjem on the Archuleta County Genealogical Society on Nov. 10 and Mott Hoover from the Colorado Avalanche Center on Nov. 17.

Go to or pick up a brochure at your library for more details on all these outstanding presentations. 

Online author
talks continue

There are two more events this month in our free online virtual series featuring New York Times bestselling authors and thought-leaders giving live, professionally moderated book discussions you can view on your computer, tablet or smartphone with Internet access. You also have an opportunity to ask questions. 

Next Thursday, Nov. 10, at noon features Bonnie Garmus, bestselling author of “Lessons in Chemistry,” which one reviewer called “a polished, funny, thought-provoking story wearing its research lightly but confidently.” Nov. 15 at 2 p.m., we’ll interact with Kwarme Christian, bestselling author and founder of the American Negotiation Institute. Go to to learn more.

Gaming tomorrow

Enjoy free all-ages video gaming on the Xbox 360 Kinect tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 4, from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Makerspace on Saturday

Kids, tweens and teens are invited to a free Makerspace session on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 11 a.m. to noon, when we’ll provide the materials so you can build, design and create.

Ruby’s Book Club
next Tuesday

Ruby’s Book Club will meet in person from 2 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to discuss “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson. Copies are available at your library. This book club is held the second Tuesday of each month, alternating between fiction and nonfiction titles. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Dungeons and Dragons in person

Next Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m., join our in-person Dungeons and Dragons game free for teens and young adults. Registration is required. Contact to join. 

Adult DIY next

At the in-person adult DIY next Wednesday, Nov. 9, from 1 to 3 p.m., we invite you to help us create ornaments for our holiday tree.

Virtual teen advisory board 

Next Wednesday, Nov. 9, the teen advisory board will meet from 4 to 5 p.m. on your library’s Discord server. Fourth through 12th graders are invited to bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs. 

PALS/GED adult

Mark is available for his free PALS sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to help with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. No registration is required. 

Homework help 

Free homework assistance and elementary tutoring are available for kids in kindergarten through fourth grade on Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. There is a registration packet for parents and guardians to fill out to enroll your child that you can get by emailing the library or coming in. 

Tech Time 

Free in-person slots are available from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Thursdays. Judy will help you with basic questions relating to computers, smartphones and tablets and also provide assistance in accessing any of the library’s online resources. You do not need an appointment for these drop-in sessions. 

Family storytime

Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., join us for free in-person children’s stories, games and plenty of reasons to get up and move. 

ESL classes

Free in-person evening classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with 4 to 5 p.m. reserved for beginners and 5 to 7 p.m. for both intermediate and advanced students. Please help us spread the word about these classes to others in our community who would be interested, and contact us by phone or email if you have any questions. 

Downloadable books 

CloudLibrary has a wide variety of downloadable e-books and audiobooks for all ages, and accessing this free digital collection has never been easier. You just need to download the cloudLibrary app, answer a few simple questions, select AspenCat Union Catalog for the name of your library, then enter your library card number and four-digit PIN. You are now ready to browse, borrow and read e-books and audiobooks using cloudLibrary. Library staff are happy to help you set up your device if you need assistance.

Mysteries, suspense
and thrillers

“Hell and Back” by Craig Johnson is a Sheriff Longmire thriller. “Treasure State” by C.J. Box finds PI Cassie Dewell in Montana on the trail of a con man. 

Large print

“The Devil’s Crossing” by William W. and J.A. Johnstone is a Preacher and Jamie MacCallister western. “Robert B. Parker’s Fallout” by Mike Lupica is a Jesse Stone mystery. “Desperation in Death” by J.D. Robb is an Eve Dallas mystery. “The Rising Tide” by Ann Cleeves is a Vera Stanhope mystery. 

Other novels

“The Attic Child” by Lola Jaye is a dual narrative about two children separated by decades who are locked away in an attic years apart. 

Books on CD 

“Dreamland” by Nicholas Sparks begins when a young man takes a gig playing at a bar in Florida. “Maisie Dobbs” by Jacqueline Winspear centers on a convalescent refuge for ex-soldiers after World War I.


“The Gilded Age” is the complete first season. “Abbott Elementary” is a workplace comedy featuring teachers in the Philadelphia public school system. “Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time” is a documentary about the author’s life and creative output.


We are grateful to Joanne Ferko and our anonymous donors for their materials donations. 

When we are open, material donations are accepted for the Friends of the Library at the front desk — not through the outside returns slot at the library or the drop box at City Market, please. The Friends take fiction published in 2012 or newer and nonfiction that is 2017 or newer. Limited workroom space means we can only accept one or two small boxes at a time. 

Quotable quote

“Long, thriving marriages have some of the qualities of an orchestra. They can, at intervals, showcase soloists, and certainly there are leads, but for the orchestra to thrive and soar, the musicians need to collaborate. The harmony that we hear arises from each one playing their part, together.” — Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs correspondent, in her memoir titled “Dinners With Ruth,” available now at your library.


For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, books on CD and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at