Children’s Reading Enjoyment At All Time Low

Children's reading

New research by the National Literacy Trust shows that over half (56%) of children and young people aged 8 – 18 don’t enjoy reading in their free time. This is an all-time low statistic since the organisation began surveying children in 2005 and is down 15.2 percentage points from its height in 2016.

Children’s reading enjoyment is at its lowest level in almost two decades, it could be due to various factors. These might include:

1) Technology and Screen Time: The increasing prevalence of smartphones, tablets, video games, and other digital entertainment options may be diverting children’s attention away from reading.

2) Lack of Access: Some children may not have easy access to books, especially in lower-income communities. Limited access to libraries or bookstores can hinder reading opportunities.

3) Educational Priorities: Educational systems emphasizing standardized testing and curriculum-focused learning may place less emphasis on fostering a love of reading.

4) Parental Involvement: A lack of parental encouragement or involvement in reading can also impact a child’s enjoyment of books.

5) Competition with Other Activities: Children today have many extracurricular activities and commitments, leaving less time for leisure reading.

6) Changes in Reading Habits: Children may be choosing different types of reading materials, such as online articles, social media, or graphic novels, which may not be captured in traditional surveys of reading enjoyment.

To address this issue, it’s important for parents, educators, and policymakers to promote a reading-friendly environment, encourage a love of books from an early age, and provide access to a diverse range of reading materials. Additionally, efforts to make reading enjoyable and relevant to children’s interests can help rekindle their enthusiasm for reading.

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