Reading aloud to children at an early age helps in seeding in them a love for books and makes them into avid readers, according to a new study. The survey by children’s publishing house Scholastic India was conducted across the country among 1,752 parents and children from different age groups. According to the study, one of the most powerful predictors of reading frequency in children aged 6-17 years is being read to by parents 5-7 days a week. The reason cited was that that was a “special time with parents.”
“Across all ages, 85 per cent of children love being read to aloud, and among kids aged 6-11 years whose parents have stopped the practice, more than half, 57 per cent, wish their parents had continued,” it stated. The benefits of the practice, as observed by parents, include a rapid development in vocabulary and language skills.
“The love of reading can transform a child’s prospects for success and this report underscores the importance of reading for pleasure while also providing insight into how we can encourage even more children to read more frequently,” Neeraj Jain, Managing Director, Scholastic India said.
Another major finding of the report reveals that children are more likely to read when they choose their own books.
“86 per cent of children aged 6-17 years say that their favourite books are the ones that they have picked out themselves and that they would read more if they could find more books that they like,” the study said. Pointing out the kind of content in books that are preferred by children, it noted the a majority, 62 per cent, of them like to read books that make them laugh, 55 per cent want books that teach them something new, 45 per cent go for those that let them use their imagination, 43 per cent want to read about characters they wish they could be like or a mystery story and 33 per cent like to read about true stories.
The study also sheds light on the burning debate of hard copies of books versus e-books, revealing that the former is a more preferred option. It discusses how popularity of print copies remains unchanged despite e-books becoming more accessible.
“80 per cent of children aged 6-17 years agree they will always want to read print books, even though there are e-books available,” it stated.