This is an excellent question. There are several things that you can do to help students through the difficulties of reading. In light of this, let me give you a few examples.
First, you can tell students that reading is, indeed, difficult. This confession might encourage them. They will know that they are not alone.
Second, starting with something easier would probably encourage students press on. In addition, a time in the class where students can share and discuss what they have read might also make the reading fun.
Third, one strategy in reading well is to keep reading, even if things are difficult. In other words, students do not need to stop every time something seems difficult. Part of the reason for this is that later portions of text often times grant illumination to earlier parts of the text. So, one technique is to keep reading.
Fourth, find out what students love. If you can assign books to them that they love, then it will encourage them to press on in the reading process.