Family Bookshelves Under Threat
The UK reading charity Booktrust has just released the results of its survey of over 3,000 children and parents. While the results show that reading has become more popular with children, one in 20 families have less than 10 books and only one in three parents read to their children each day. This is particularly sad since 96% of the children said they enjoyed reading and books.
More results from Booktrust’s press release:
• More dads reading with their children than in previous years: 40% increase since September 2008.
• 60% of children like to share a book with their parents/carers as it shows that they like to spend time with them.
• Households with girls have ten more children’s books than those with boys. One in every 20 family homes in
Britain today has fewer than ten books.
• Children enjoying reading more: 96% of all children surveyed say that they enjoy reading, peaking at 99% among
seven year olds and falling to 89% of 12 year olds (overall, this represents a year on year increase of 5%).
• 56% of all parents and carers (and almost half of all parents of 4-5 year olds [48%]) say their child spends more
time facing a screen, playing computer games and watching DVDs rather than reading.
• Parents and carers of boys are twice as likely not to read with them compared to those who have girls.
• Technology, home entertainment and work (through emails and home working) are impacting on book time.
While flexible working is supposed to enable a positive work-life balance, children are increasingly losing out.
• Bookshelves under threat in a third of British homes: one in three parents and carers (34%) say shelves are
increasingly being filled up with DVDs and computer games, especially in homes with older children (this is the
case in 41% of homes of 11-12 year olds).
• The UK’s all time favourite fictional character according to over 1,300 children is Harry Potter, followed by Horrid
Henry and Tracy Beaker. Action heroes Captain Underpants and Ben 10 relegate children’s classic Cinderella and
Peter Pan out of the top 10. Roald Dahl’s characters including Matilda, Charlie (from Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory) and the Fantastic Mr Fox make multiple entries in the top 20 all time favourite characters.