Any self-respecting bibliophile will express horror at the idea of watching a movie before you’ve read the book it has been adapted from. However, in the case of reluctant readers, I propose that a shift from movie to books will have greater chances of successfully converting a non-reader to a reader than the other way around. This tactic (ploy? plot? mwahaha?) would, in my opinion, be the most effective in a classroom setting though I think parents/friends could actually try this out as well.
Because I am writing this at 1:33 a.m. (when I am the most awake), let me break the following down into steps.
- First, find a movie that has everyone excited whether they have read the book or not. Something that has been hyped and has accrued millions/billions of money at the box office. Oh, make sure the screenplay has been adapted from a book. This sneaky tactic doesn’t work if the movie has an original screenplay. And pick something that is easy to read which means I wouldn’t suggest Les Miserables. Ya know?
- Watch the movie. Maybe once. Maybe twice. It would help if the reluctant reader enjoys the movie.
- Read the book. Now, you may face some resistance from the reluctant reader who might see no point in reading the book when he/she has already seen the movie. In this situation, it helps immensely if the reluctant reader has liked the movie because then he/she will be more willing to further immerse him/herself in the fictional world created in the movie/book.
- Suggest some questions the reluctant reader might keep in mind while reading. For example: what aspects/elements of the novel were changed in the movie? Or, did you prefer the movie or the book and if so, why?
- Once the book has been read, discuss.
- Rinse and repeat.
If you’re lucky, the reluctant reader will realize that the book is indeed better than the movie and will be more willing to try reading different books next time. If not, you got him/her to read at least one book and for that you deserve a pat on your back.
Here is a Goodreads list of some YA book to movie adaptations though I dare say you will find a lot more on IMDB.