Many parents may worry that with easier access to the screen, children may not be spending enough time reading books. A recently conducted survey, however, found that nearly 92 per cent children read books for fun for at least a day in a week.
According to Kids and Family Reading Report, a national survey by Scholastic India, a children’s books publishing house, more than 77 per cent kids said they believed that reading books for fun — beyond their curriculum, like leisure books and story books — was important.
Around 1000 children, between the ages six and 17 were surveyed, along with 400 parents.
The survey further found that young kids take more interest in reading short stories with pictures, mainly comics and fairy tales. As kids grow older, they start engaging in video games and outdoor games, around the age of 15-17. “Others may like watching a video on YouTube or spending time on their mobile phones and computers,” read the survey.
Overall, 30 per cent of children said they considered themselves to be “good” readers. About 32 per cent of them claimed to be “frequent readers”.
“Kids aged 6-8 years like to read books that make them laugh. Kids aged 9-11 years like books that tell a true story. Kids aged 12-14 years want books that are a little scary. Kids aged 15-17 years want books that let them forget about real life for a while and have smart or brave characters.”
The survey also found girls to be more likely to say they “love” reading books for fun, as compared to boys. “Girls are more likely than boys to value strong reading skills and social skills, but less likely to value strong computer skills and physical or athletic skills,” as per the survey.
Reading books not only keeps kids away from spending too much time in front of the screen but also helps improve language skills and opens new avenues of imagination and critical thinking, shaping their character in the process.
To inculcate the habit of reading books, parents can start by making it a daily or weekly routine to read to their child. Expose your child to an array of illustrated books, of various genres, to get them interested. You can also plan weekly visits to a children’s library nearby and encourage them to pick a book of their choice. And do not forget to appreciate them for making progress in reading.