Popularity of reading declines in teen years

Popularity of reading declines in teen years

Teenagers are less fond of reading than younger children, with only 17% of 15-17 year-olds saying they often read for fun according a new report into young people’s reading habits from Scholastic.

For ‘The Kids & Family Reading Report’, Scholastic conducted a YouGov survey with 1,755 parents and children about their reading habits. The results showed that children’s fondness for reading lessens as they get older, because whilst 17% of the older age group read for fun, that figure is much higher amongst 6-8s (54%), dropping to 43% for 9-11s and 24% for 12-14s.

When asked if they like or love reading, 80% of 6-8 year-olds answered in the affirmative, compared to 35% of 9-11 year-olds, 43% of 12-14 year-olds and 43% of 15-17 year-olds.  

Conversely, as children get older they spend a lot of time on social media. In the oldest age group, 76% visit social networks and 80% go online using a smartphone, but in the youngest age category those figures drop to 4% and 19%, respectively.

However, across all ages, seven in 10 children (71%) say they know they should read more books for fun; the same percentage of parents (71%) wish their child would read more books for fun.

When asked what kind of books they would like to read, 65% of boys and 61% of girls said they want books that make them laugh. Also popular are books that let them use their imaginations (chosen by 40% of boys and 53% of girls) and books that have characters the reader wishes they could be like (38% of boys and 44% of girls).

Nearly four in 10 of the parents surveyed said their child has trouble finding books he or she likes, and 33% said they need guidance in this area.

Parents of older children are more likely to say they do not have a preference as to whether their kids read books for fun in print versus e-books. However, about two in three parents (67%) of kids ages 6–8 prefer that their children read in print.