World Book Day – The Importance of Reading
• Posted under kids •
With World Book Day on the 6th of March, everyone’s been talking about the importance of reading and their literary favourites. Whether you’re a fan of Sci-Fi or fantasy, teen drama, thriller or even a good old encyclopaedia, reading is a fundamental part of our culture and of growing up.
But with the increased importance placed on video games, surfing the internet or texting on phones, less and less children are opting to spend time with their noses in books. But what is the result of this decrease in love of the written word amongst children?
A recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has actually pin pointed a startling find that teenagers who indulge in recreational reading actually end up being more successful in the future. Children who have a love of reading for reading’s sake, over a forced work/school text, have an intrinsic desire to learn and engage with text and stories, therefore leading to a lifelong quest to engage and learn in the wider world, increasing social mobility.
Studies have even gone as far to show that digital reading doesn’t equal the same as reading physical books, it may lead to increases in core skills but it doesn’t engage the reader in the same way. As for Britain, a recent study by the National Literacy Trust (NLT) and the All Party Parliamentary Literacy Group found that more girls read for pleasure than boys, which was targeted as a result of a heavily female environment in primary schools where reading is encouraged – there for socially it is seen as a feminine activity, so boys who are lead to be traditional ‘boys’ shun reading.
There is also a case for schools not giving children books they want to read. This is where reading for pleasure at home becomes so vital. I used to read a lot when I was younger – a keen fan of C.S. Lewis and the world of Narnia and a lover of Animorphs by K.A. Applegate (I actually read all 54 books and all 10 companion books) made me realised I had a penchant for fantasy worlds, and apparently authors who use double initial formats.
But as I grew up, the usual toils of adolescence distracted me, and the fact I studied English, Classics and Drama meant I had to read countless course texts, regardless of whether I liked them – this lead to me being over saturated and not wanting to read more outside of class. I eventually got out of the habit and I stopped reading. It is only now, some 8 years later I am trying my hardest to get back into reading. I adore reading an actual book, but I do have an eReader, which I love for its ease of use and transportation – allowing me to steal five minutes in another world where I can.
It’s these reasons why books like the Harry Potter series or Twilight are so important, regardless of how well they may or may not be written – their global appeal encourages millions of children to pick up a book. Which can never be criticised; the lines and lines of children waiting for the next release is testament to this, and far more refreshing than seeing them queue to catch a glimpse of a reality star at a fragrance launch.
So this week, thousands of children will be indulging in fantasy worlds, dressing up and acting out (in the good way). So make sure you get your child involved – maybe even share with them your favourite childhood book and pass on the love of literature, as it will help them in the future.
Find out more about World Book Day here.