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Give your kid a Kindle, or download the Kindle app for their iPod or smartphone, and let them loose in the wonderful world of SAMPLES. They can try the first chapters of dozens, hundreds, thousands of books, and all for free. Even the pickiest of readers is certain to find something they like!
Since I've had a Kindle, I've definitely widened the range of stuff I read, all because I can download a couple of chapters at the press of a button. Naturally, a lot of samples just get deleted after a page or two, but I've come across some terrific books that I might otherwise have passed by. For instance, I've read Judith Flanders' excellent book about Victorian crime reporting, The Invention Of Murder, discovered China Mieville's wonderful sci-fi epic Perdido Street Station, and laughed out loud (on the train) at Alexei Sayle's memoir Stalin Ate My Homework.
If the proof of the pudding really is in the eating (and oooh boy, have I eaten a lot of puddings...) there can't be a better way to discover new books, new writers, new everything. I've got so keen on the idea I've even put a free Selection Box of chapters on my own website (plug plug).