Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Give a boy a book update

Happy Wednesday!

I overestimated by ability to multitask which is why I haven't spoken about this in a couple of months.  But I wanted to do an update on my plans for my plan to get more boys to read.

The first thing is that people kept referring to it as Give a Boy a Book, which is infinitely easier to remember and say, so that's what I'll be calling it for the time being.

I've spent a lot of time working on ways to distinguish what I want to do from the other sites that are working with this issue.  Guys Lit Wire does a fantastic job reviewing books they think boys would like (by the way, they're teamed up with a couple of other organization to collect and deliver books for Navajo and Apache teens, so drop by), and Guys Read is a great site for encouraging boys to read and men to step up and help them.

So the plan I've come up with for Give a Boy a Book is to start with a website that functions as a way for boys/teens/adults to find and rate books.  There will be a rating system based on different criteria.  Instead of a simple 1-5 star system, visitors will have the ability to rate books based on criteria like humor, action, romantic relationships, magic, science.  Then, when searching for a book, visitors will be able to input their preferences based on the criteria.  Say I was looking for a funny book that was high on action but low on romance, I could input that and find books that matched up.

To that end, I've secured the domain names and  Within the next couple of months I'll be rolling those out and keeping them separate from my author self so as to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

The second part of the Give a Boy a Book plan is more grassroots.  While I think that creating websites to promote books and review books and help people choose the right books for boys is great and necessary, I think the best way to get more boys to read is to put books directly into their hands.  To that end I'll be working out a Book Crossing like program where people can download stickers and then take books that they think a boy would like and give it to one.  Sounds easy, right?  People who read the book will be encouraged to log-in to the website and rate the book and then pass it along to another boy they think might like it.

I read a lot when I was young but some of my favorite books were those loaned to me by others.  They were books I only gave a chance because someone put it in my hands and told me I'd like it.

The web is a great place to start, but if it doesn't translate into something in the real world, then it's not going to work.

There's the update.  That's the plan.  Next time I update it will be with a website...hopefully.  And, as always, I invite ideas, criticism, suggestions.



  1. It's so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it, especially boys. In fact, I've recently completed a feature magazine article on this subject that came out in October, "Help for Struggling, Reluctant Readers."

    I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

    My blog, Books for Boys is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And my new book, Lost Island Smugglers - first in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series - is coming out in July-August. Contracts are also signed for Captain Jack's Treasure and River Rampage.

    Keep up your good work.

    Max Elliot Anderson
    PS. My first 7 books are going to be republished by Comfort Publishing later in 2010

  2. Shaun, as you know I think this idea is great! Can't wait to help! I especially like the ratings idea. I think this will help boys weed their likes and dislikes and finds books of interest quicker.


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