You asked

How do I encourage a reluctant reader, aged 5 - 8 to read?

The most important thing is to never get angry or impatient. This will only serve to make your child believe that he has disappointed you which may turn him off reading before he even starts.
Before you sit down to read together, take a deep breath and make sure that your child sees that you are enjoying this time spent reading together.

Ask your child why he doesn’t want to read. Sometimes there is an obvious answer such as he wants to watch TV or be outside playing with his siblings which is easily resolved.
Talk to his teacher to find out what they are doing in school to encourage reading and what you can do at home to support his reading.
Consider getting him assessed if he seems to be struggling to learn or has difficulty with recognising letters. Again, speak to his teacher to see if he is struggling in other areas at school.
Take him for an eye-test to rule out any eye problems. Your young child may not be understand why his eyesight is poor, and if glasses are required, much of his difficulty could be due to how tired he becomes when he has to concentrate and strain to read.
Each child learns at their own pace so if your child seems to be learning at a slower pace than his friends, don’t panic.  Keep at it and he will get there in the end.  The most important thing is to keep him interested in reading by providing a wide-range of material that interests him. Don’t just limit reading materials to books-try magazines and comics. 

More questions

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