NLT: one in seven children has never visited bookshop

NLT: one in seven children has never visited bookshop

One out of every seven young people has never been to a bookshop, according to new research by the National Literacy Trust compiled in the report Family Matters: The Importance of Family Support for Young People's Reading.

The report showed 14% of respondents had never been to a bookshop, and 7% were not sure if they had or not. Girls were more likely to have been to a bookshop, with 82.2% sure they had been to one, compared to 75.8% of boys.

Meanwhile, one in three (32.9%) fathers are never seen reading by their children, the survey of 21,000 children and young people has discovered, with that worse than two years ago when it was one in four dads, or 24.9%, that were never seen reading. Below average readers are four times more likely to say their dad doesn't encourage them to read, with 66.3% of dads found to encourage their children to read, versus 82.6% of mums.

Director of the National Literacy Trust Jonathan Douglas said: "It's old fashioned to think that encouraging reading is just down to mothers. Children learn behaviours from both parents, and boys in particular benefit from male role models. With the forthcoming changes to parental leave, a father's role in their child's communication and literacy development is set to become of even greater importance."

Young people who see their mother or father read a lot tend to think more positively about reading, with 81.2% of children who see their mother reading a lot agreeing with the statement "the more I read, the better I become", and that figure going up to 82.6% when children see their fathers read a lot.

Most young people do not talk with their family about what they are reading on a regular basis, with 46% of young people saying that they "rarely" or "never" talk about what they are reading with their family.

12% of the young people said that they have not received a book as a present, with nearly twice as many 14-16 year olds saying they had not been given a book as a present compared to 8-11 year olds.

The children and young people involved in the survey were between 8 and 16 years old, from 128 schools in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The survey took place in November and December 2011.