Reading opens the imagination like no other medium. Hooking kids on reading means teaching them to open their minds to envision the people, lands, and adventures that good reading contains. Compared to television and video games, reading requires more work because the mind is engaged on multiple levels.
The part of the brain that controls language comes online first. Next, the place where imagination resides begins to create faces and places. Memory fires next as the words begin to evoke an empathetic response to the events and characters of the book in relation to the personal experience of the reader.
Once a child realizes the worlds that reading will open to them, other forms of entertainment will begin to take a backseat. The experiences with a good book can easily eclipse a video game. Children will still seek multiple ways to be entertained, but reading should move up the scale a lot.
Start by reading to your child from the beginning. Teach them that books are important. Show your excitement for the books you read to them, and they will catch the energy for themselves. Work to teach them some early childhood reading from simple books with colorful pictures and big print. Once they learn that they too can pick up a book and have an adventure, they will be eager to give it a try.
Work to create interest in many types of books. Educational books, fictional books, biographies, and fantasy all need to be thrown into the mix. Every child will find something he or she enjoys in each area. Your child may not like every book he or she picks up, but the odds are good that if you show that you like them, your child will find many books exciting.