For What Reading’s Worth

By Admin

Here are some facts to get you thinking:

  • It is estimated that 4 million adults in the UK choose not to read as a hobby
  • Results from a YouGov survey of 2,059 adults showed that 29% of people claimed to not have enough time to read, 26% simply do not enjoy the act of reading a book, and 40% always preferred to do something else with their spare time. The remaining 5% alone classed themselves as book-readers.
  • 11% of the men surveyed never read for pleasure
  • 5% of the women surveyed never read for pleasure
  • 1 in 6 adults in the UK have literacy problems (that’s about 12.6 million people)

Do these facts worry you?

It’s not necessarily the idea that adults are rejecting reading for pleasure as a pastime that concerns World of Books. After all, everyone is different, and George Orwell for example might float one person’s boat, but irrecoverably sink it for someone else. After all, it’s simply the way the world goes round; this difference in interests enables society to be as rich in texture as it is today.

But…

What happens when these same adults allow this indifference to books to project onto their children and other young people around them? Some more facts for you:

  • 41% of employers are concerned about the basic literacy skills of their recruits
  • It is a given that poor communication skills are always a barrier to any individual attempting to enter the job market. Indeed a job applicant’s communication skills often outweigh formal qualifications in an interview

It would be naive to claim that reading books and being read to will automatically provide a child with a better communication skills and subsequently help them get a job one day. However, tests have shown that the act of reading is an undeniable factor in a child’s learning journey that helps them to develop important skills such as listening and responding which they will carry with them to adulthood. By reading books about characters such as Postman Pat or Winnie-the-Pooh a child learns a greater range of vocabulary, and also begins to learn subtle life lessons such as friendship, sharing, and being kind.

Winnie-the-Pooh and friends

Cartoon Winnie-the-Pooh and friends

So wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for you,” and Pooh said… “True,
It isn’t much fun for One, but Two
Can stick together,” says Pooh, says he.
“That’s how it is,” says Pooh”

Extract from poem called ‘Us Two’ by A.A. Milne

From the Winnie-the-Pooh book ‘Now We Are Six’  

So go on, pick up a book today and have a read, you might find you enjoy it more than you thought. Or why not read to your child a children’s classic such as ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Guess How Much I Love You?’ or ‘The Gruffalo’? It doesn’t cost much and it might have more of a long-term impact than you realise.

Information from:
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/feb/14/4-million-uk-adults-never-read-books
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/2331/manifestoforliteracyshortversion.pdf
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