Tommy Greenwald’s Guide To Not Reading

Because kids hate to read, Westporter Tommy Greenwald has written…a book for them.

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide To Not Reading will be published this summer.  If it’s half as entertaining as the trailer, Tommy’s got a middle school best-seller.

A series of non-readers solemnly address the camera.

“I’d rather drop a full-size bowling ball on my toe” than read, one kid intones.

“I’d rather solve the Mideast peace process,” says another.

“I’d rather be grounded for life,” claims one more.

Then comes the next stage — bargaining:

“Don’t make me read!” one pleads.

“Ewwww…gross!” adds another.

Finally, grudging acceptance:

“Is it short?” one kid wants to know.

“Are there actual words in it?” wonders another.

“How much will you pay me to read it?” asks a third.

The real Charlie Joe Jackson.

The trailer ends with this quote from the hero, Charlie Joe Jackson:  “If my book inspires just one kid to become a reader…that’s one too many.”

The real Charlie Joe Jackson — Tommy’s 3 kids — had typical teenage reactions, according to their dad.

They refused to read the book.  After much back-and-forth, finally — when Tommy told them the main character was named after them — they agreed to look at it.

“They actually really liked it,”Tommy says with pride.

But they haven’t read another book since.

(Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading is available now by pre-order — for reluctant readers everywhere.  For more information, click here.)

13 responses to “Tommy Greenwald’s Guide To Not Reading

  1. I would just like to note that this is just more evidence that Tommy is a modern-day Renaissance man. He was a talented musician and soccer star at Staples (who set up the winning goal in the waning seconds of the final overtime in the 1978 state championship game), attended what is widely recognized as the second-best university in the country (Harvard), co-authored a well-received Off-Broadway show that is still performed in regional theater, and has had a long and successful career in theatrical advertising & marketing. Tommy, I would buy this for my nephews, but, they both love to read. So you’ll have to figure out a way for me to interest them in the book.

  2. Estelle Margolis

    Only Tommy Greenwald could write such a book! I have read Tommy’s book. Charlie, Joe and Jack are right, they need never read another book! If he succeeds in this campaign to encourage kids who hate to read we can close our schools and libraries. That may not be such a bad thing. We know that one of the greatest problems we have with young people is obesity. Thanks to the book they will be free to go out all day and play ball and jump rope and ride bikes. No more obesity! Good for you, Tommy.

  3. Ha! I’m so getting this book for my son.

  4. The Dude Abides

    I have read that financial remuneration may be the biggest incentive for kids to do what they really don’t want to do i.e bribe. Sad but apparently true.

    • Dude, since you’re a big sports fan–I found out years ago that with one of my nephews who did not like reading, the key was first getting him SI for Kids, and then sports-related books.

      • The Dude Abides

        My parents tried that. Money would have worked better. It did with mine . . . well at least with one.

    • Dude, I don’t know who you are since you hide behind the cloak of anonymity. But whoever you are, I would really like to recommend you for counseling and/or medication. Is there a single subject upon which you cannot find a way to issue a negative pronouncement on 1. today’s over-indulged youth; 2. any and all Westporters, all of whom are over-entitled, coddled, and selfish; 3. today’s society in general, with its amoral, derelict value systems? This is a delightful, witty book for kids and about kids, which seems to take on an important issue in a wry, non-preachy way. Lighten up!!

      • The Dude Abides

        I quoted a Princeton study that shows money is an incentive in children, especially in education. Why don’t you lighten up??? I have no comment on the book. Stop drinking the Kool Aid. I made none of your suppositions.

      • Dr. Braum’s familiarity with the woes of the world seem to pronounce her own negativistic outlook including the size of houses in Westport. Perhaps she should take a dose of her own prescription.

  5. maxine bleiweis

    If you have a reluctant reader, I highly recommend challenging the talents of Westport Library’s children’s library staff member Kris Nash. Kris has the ability to talk any book off the shelf and into the hands of the most reluctant reader. You can email her at and set up a time for her to meet your reluctant reader. She rarely misses the mark!

  6. Michael Jackson

    This is going to be a best seller!

  7. This is such a great idea, reminds me of the reverse psychology used in Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” From a back cover: “As you probably know, nothing is less fun than a long book, except jail. Wouldn’t you rather watch a motion picture starring a handsome Count?”

    Now, this book may not be a direct example of rev. psych, but I love the idea of a kid watching the trailer and thinking, “I need to know about other kids who ‘hate’ reading.” And, having a known a few reluctant readers myself, the rev. psych. angle often works very well.

    This book will spark the interest of constant readers and reluctant readers alike. It’s now on MY book list.

  8. This is great!!