Monday, 5 December 2016

Is Reading For Pleasure The Secret To Achievement?

Are some parents barking up the wrong tree...

Reading for pleasure is often seen as old fashioned and not important to cruise along this highway called life. At times, Bob likens me to a stubborn mule and he isn't wrong either. I try with all my might to get the teenagers I meet, to start reading for pleasure.

As a card carrying member of Reading Addicts, the idea of having to nudge, plead with or bribe someone to actually do what I've been longing to do full time all my life, seems preposterous.

Parents are doing their utmost to better their children's lives and there is nothing wrong with that. The competition to get into the right school, university and career is fierce, to put it mildly. When I mentioned to some teens and parents the need to read, I get a version of:

" The kids have no time to read. School comes first. "
Fair enough, but, and this is my own opinion, pupils and students who read for pleasure, will stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. They will have what it takes to make it in this modern world...Imagination, empathy and the ability to converse.

Reading for pleasure, is vital for so many aspects of our life. It keeps us out of mischief, it makes us happy, it shows us a different world, it let's us use our imagination and it is the best way to spend time.

With Christmas coming up, please give your child a book, or even a membership of your local library. Just like runners need to have the running shoes before they can set off, so do readers need books to set off on this magical journey that with luck will last their whole life.

Here are a few statistics from the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation.

  • 43% of adults with the lowest level of literacy live in poverty, compared with only 4% of those with the highest literacy skill levels.
  • Having books in the home results in children reading more often and for longer lengths of time.
  • Children or teenagers who read for pleasure on a daily or weekly basis score better on reading and writing tests than infrequent or non-readers.