Many boys do not read, not always because they can't, but because they are not interested. Some do have reading problems, which can be addressed once recognized, but too many boys and young men just don't find reading interesting or "the thing" to do.
After teaching for 27 years, I dealt with male students who would rather take a zero than have to read a book. We need literate men in our society, and the only way to procure them is to develop boys and teens who read, develop brain cells. How can we as authors, teachers, parents, caring people help alleviate the problem?
1. Write or find books that interest boys, such as sports, adventure, with lots of action. In my English classes, I didn't assign just one book for the class, or even one genre. I offered a list, including action, adventure, sports, science fiction.
2. Books need to have something besides page after page after page of words. Illustrations help break the pattern. Illustrations, again, need to match what boys will enjoy.
3. Action, action, action. Maybe because most boys tend to be more active than girls, what they read requires action to gain their attention and to keep it.
4. Girls will read books and stories where the main character or characters are male. However, boys very seldom will read books with female main characters.
5. Most readers do not like long descriptions and narrative, but boys usually refuse to read any thing that "bores" them.
So, how can help with the problem, help add boys to the readers' list? If you write, be sure to add the components boys want and like. If you're a teacher, give more leeway in the classroom concerning books assigned. If you're a parent or grandparent, keep looking until you find books the boys in your life would like.
Two of the books from 4RV Publishing that boys enjoy:
The Base Stealers Club and Case of the Missing Coach