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Many British Children Are Embarrassed To Be Seen Reading In Public

One of the highlights of my writing career (and this is no exaggeration) was the day I saw a teen-aged boy reading the paperback edition of my novel at a bus stop. Happily he exhibited no furtiveness. 

Books are to be ever-threatened by visual stimulations (which gives me some pause about "interactive" books on the internet) but - really - there is no where one is more in control than when reading a book.  I feel that people eventually start getting tired by having everything done for them. Fire up that imagination. Take it out for a spin. Miss your bus.

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Reading being crowded out of children’s lives


New National Literacy Trust research Children’s Reading Today shows that children are reading less as their lives get more crowded. In 2005, four young people in 10 read daily outside of class. Today only three young people in 10 read daily in their own time. On the eve of International Literacy Day, the charity is calling for a national campaign to halt this decline.

Funded by law firm Slaughter and May, the research with 21,000 children and young people across the UK reveals the number of children who enjoy reading very much or quite a lot has remained static since 2005 (50% today vs 51% in 2005). This highlights a clear issue with children’s leisure time with many children enjoying reading but pushing it out in favour of other activities. The research found:


  • More than a fifth of children (22%) rarely or never read in their own time
  • More than half (54%) prefer watching TV to reading
  • Nearly a fifth (17%) would even be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading