In year seven at Truro High School, I asked each form who’s reading a book at the moment. The result was astounding – in 7Alpha 14 out of 16 girls read, but in 7A all 19 students read.
Research published recently shows that less and less people are choosing to read because the internet is reducing our patience and ability to just sit down and read a book. Could this terrifying fact bring forward the final page of the novel and make the book become an endangered species?
For some, reading is usually a popular hobby, perfect for a little relaxation in their spare time. But, as an English teacher, Miss Whitney can see the difference in wanting to read between younger students and the older.
Some girls from various year groups in Truro High School told us what they think about reading, and what books they like.
Jasmine from Year 9, said: “I find reading quite fun. I’m reading a book at the moment. I like romance, horror and fantasy stories.”
Emilia from Year 9 said: “At the moment I’m not reading a book, but I do enjoy reading. It depends on which book. I like romance and mystery stories.”
Lily from Year 8 said: “I really like reading. I like spy books. I’m reading Girl Online at the moment.”
Roisin from Year 9 said: “I like reading diary entries and books with not too many words.”
Evie from year 9 added: “I don’t really like reading.”
From this information, you can see that people still like reading, but for some people it’s not as fun as it used to be.
Research on American children carried out for children’s publisher Scholastic and managed by YouGov has shown that in 2010 60 per cent of children enjoyed reading, but now it’s dropped down to 51 per cent!
After the age of eight, children don’t really like reading anymore and it starts fading out at around that age, which is quite young.
Their alternative to reading a book is playing on a screen – computers, smart phones, tablets…
Some people are complaining that books are too big or too boring or they don’t have time because of things like schoolwork and that it’s not at the top of their priorities of what to do for fun.
An American survey by Scholastic asked parents about how much their children read and have read in the past.
It found children are more likely to read when they’re little and when they read aloud at home a lot before they start nursery.
They also read more if they are less likely than others to use technology for fun instead of reading.
Audio books are also taking the spotlight as no reading is actually involved at all. Some children might fall asleep while listening and not really listening to the story which is bad for their creative child mind which should use stories to develop their creativity for fun.
There is also research showing that 39 per cent of the young people read every day on computers and screens, rather than doing what 28 per cent of children do which is actually reading from printed materials.
There has also been a 15 per cent drop in the number of people who read a printed newspaper and they’ve now reverted to reading the news online since 2005.
There’s also research showing that young girls are more likely to read a book made from paper, whereas young boys are more likely to read a story on a screen.
Reported by Ruby Ashby & Iris Nicholls
BBC School Report