The Importance of Reading

A Decline in Reading for Fun

Over the years there has been decline in the amount of children who are reading books as well as the level of people that enjoy reading as a hobby. A statistic from Time online states that 45% of 17 year old’s only read by choice as little as 1 – 2 times in a year. Researchers have also found that by the age of 8 years old, the amount of children who enjoy reading for pleasure declines. One of the primary reasons for this downfall in reading levels is said to be due to the pressure of school work. There has been a recent increase in stress levels for both teachers and students which suggested that the decrease of reading may be down to a lack of time or energy.

A Modern World

Another dominant issue that has related to the decline in reading is the rise of new technologies. Modern computer technologies and digital media are becoming more user-friendly and accessible for children. Many children prefer to spend time with their apple products or their touch screen tablets rather than reading a book in this modern age of technology. There are brand new and exciting apps that are being released every day that grab the attention of any adolescent with the promises of adventure inside a screen. A study from The Guardian shows that 36% of children prefer to watch TV for pleasure on a daily basis, with 17% preferring to watch videos online. The issues with modern technology in these circumstances are difficult to ignore. Although trends in apps and types of headsets and monitors tend to decrease over the years, there will always be something new in the world of technology that will grab a child’s attention over a book.

It can be argued that modern technology has attempted to incorporate reading texts within modern products. Take the Kindle for example; this fits all your favourite books in one, surely this would urge on literature fans to continue reading? Apparently not. According to The Telegraph, Kindle sales have ‘disappeared’ after peaking in 2011. Again, this is more than likely to do with technological trends. Much like the rise in vinyl records within the music industry, books have become sought after. However, although there has been an increase in book sales, it hasn’t increased the number of children who are reading for pleasure. A 9% rise in sales books, according to The Guardian, does not determine whether or not children are actually reading them, or using them for leisure.


Reading has many advantages especially for children. Enjoying light literature from time to time can help with learning and brain stimulation. Losing yourself in a book can help with relaxation and helps keep your brain active. With literacy levels on the decrease in England, it is important to keep on track with our children’s reading skills so they don’t have to unnecessarily suffer in a later age. You become more creative and confident when you take the time out to read as you learn about different lives and cultures you may not have considered beforehand.

A Taste of What’s to Come

A study from the OECD report in 2016 showed students aged 16 and above to have the worst literacy levels out of 23 developed nations. It is vital that we urge our younger generation to keep an open mind to reading. It may seem difficult to persuade a young person to read the book rather than watch the film adaptation in this day and age, but with the right techniques and will power we can aim for a well-read world. Tune in with us next week to TeacherBoards Community to read our ‘How to Guide’ on keeping teenagers interested in reading.

Have Your Say

Do you think we should fuel the fight and give books a second chance, or do you think we should proceed to enter an unknown modern phenomenon of new learning? Have your say by tweeting us your thoughts on our post and using the hashtag #TBliteracymonth


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