I love to read! I love books! Yes, I am old school. I am not into the Kindle, Nook or any e-readers (yet). My son, Champ, has a Kindle Fire and I mess around with it a bit, but I love the look and feel of books, I even love the smell of books, I love the sound of the pages being turned. I like how if I hold a thinner, smaller book - it is lighter, if I hold a thicker, bigger book - it is heavier. I just simply love books.
When I was younger (way back in the day), we had 4 major television networks (ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS). Cartoons were only on Saturday until noon, with an occasional after school special during the week. At night we only could watch prime time television until about 8:00 and then the adult television shows came on and we had to go to bed. And if the President was on - he was on every single channel. We also didn't have gaming systems (hand-held/personal or otherwise), there was no such thing as the internet.
What we (my brother and I or my friends and I) did was play outside and read books. There is nothing that I like better than curling up with a good book on a rainy day. Snow days from school were awesome! We played outside until lunch time (we were about frozen by then anyway) and then we came in and ate a good lunch and had hot chocolate - later we made snow cream - and then I would read and read and read and...well you get the picture.
I always had a book in my hand, I took one with me wherever I went (remember - no personal gaming systems back then or DVD players in the car) and if I got a minute or two I would read.
I wanted to pass down my love of reading to my children. I think it is an excellent past time. I feel that if children can read and comprehend what they are reading they will be able to do anything! I read to my children when they were little hoping they would like to read. My oldest, Lee, loves to read! He reminds me of me, he takes a book with him at all times - very seldom do you see him without a book in his hand or at least nearby.
My second son, Champ, not so much. I try to encourage reading and I know that Champ likes to earn money (he saves it very well too) so I told my boys that I would pay them a penny a page to read an age appropriate book. Lee took it and ran with it (get paid to do something that I already like to do?), Champ had rather do physical labor than read. I gave them each a spiral notebook (in the fall when school supplies are on sale they are 10 - 15 cents each), inside the front cover of the notebook I glued an envelope (flap side out). They are to record the date they completed the book, title and author of the book and the # of pages. When they have read a book or two they leave their reading log on the counter and I mark pd. beside the # of pages and I put the money in the envelope. (I think when they are older they might find it interesting to see what they were reading when they were younger.)
Anthony (now finishing up his first grade year) was excited about this too. Last year, when he began to read I set him up a reading log too. His first few books were 10 pages or less, so I waited until we had at least a dollar before I paid him. Now Rance is excited about starting Kindergarten this fall so that he can learn to read!
A local publication had an article entitled 'Helping Boys Love Books.' It had some great suggestions in the article and it also had some suggestions for books and websites that were about books and/or authors for children and middle-school aged boys.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Dead End In Norvelt by Jack Gantos
Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
Traction Man is Here! by Mini Grey
The Library of Doom Series by Michael Dahl
Guys Read Edited by John Scieszka (and here too)
Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems (and here too)
Hope this helps your boy(s) to love to read. I know we are going to look up these books this summer (only 10 days of school left - YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).