Bookworms rejoice!! The BBC reported today on a recent survey that found that the number of schoolchildren who read in their spare time has increased in the past year. Both enjoyment and frequency of reading are at their highest levels since 2006, and in the past year there has been a 9% jump in the number of kids who read daily outside of school, from 32% to 41%.
Even better, almost twice as many kids surveyed thought that reading was “cool” (40%) versus “not cool” (23%), and only 55% responded that they preferred watching television over reading.
However, while 62% of girls said they enjoy reading “very much” or “quite a lot” and 46.5% said they read daily, the numbers for boys were just 47% and 36%, respectively. Sadly, almost a quarter of kids believe their parents don’t care whether or not they read, including almost a third of low-income children.
For a former-kid like me who used to read fiction every single day (everything from Star Wars novels to Brian Jacques to the Brontë sisters) I am so happy with this news! I think a common worry these days is that kids are raised from day-one with iPads and on-demand cartoons and all that jazz, and don’t appreciate books as much as previous generations, but to see these numbers rising over time is such a hopeful sign. To me, it doesn’t matter what kids are reading, as long as they’re reading something that they enjoy and that stimulates their creativity and imagination. This news has really made my day!