Occasionally at the library, we encounter young patrons looking for "thin" books because they perceive themselves to be slow or not very good readers. This perception is usually due to comparisons they make themselves with classmates or comments from classmates, teachers and parents. The stereotype of a slow reader or a below average reader is one that breaks my heart because these young patrons begin to dislike reading and view books as a mountain that can't be scaled, eventually giving up reading for pleasure all together.
In reality, it is not the quantity of books or pages read that is important but the quality of the books and the vocabulary and information on the pages. I always lead these readers to the non-fiction section because between the covers of the thin books often found in the non-fiction section is a goldmine of vocabulary and information. Frequently, the books these "slow" or "below average" readers choose are on par with or above their grade level; the majority of the time it is the latter. Encourage your reluctant reader to choose a few non-fiction books at the library the next time that you visit. Slowly increase the amount of non-fiction books you borrow with each visit and you will soon find that your reluctant reader is not so reluctant any more. For some readers, bigger isn't really better, especially if they do not have the confidence to read bigger books. By breaking the volume read into smaller chunks ("thin" books) you will help your reader gain confidence and become a better reader.
Check out a few of my favorite "thin" books at the library: