Books deemed a thing of the past by YouTube generation of readers

UK: Children growing up in the age of YouTube are turning away from books in increasing numbers, with a study revealing the number of children who read outside school has fallen by 25% since 2005.

According to a National Literacy Trust study of 34,910 young people, nearly a third of children between eight and 16 say they read no text-based media at all in their daily leisure time.

Only 28.4% claimed to read in their own time every day in 2012, down from 38.1% who read outside school in 2005.

Attitudes to reading have also become more negative over time, with 21.5% of young people agreeing with the statement, "I would be embarrassed if my friends saw me read," up from 16.6% in the 2010 study.

This year's study confirms a trend that began to show two years ago, that reading and writing are being shunned in favour of video-based communications. "Originally we thought that children's reading was migrating from print to digital, that they were using messenger and reading ebooks. But increasingly they are consuming information in ways that do not involve reading or writing text."

Douglas, a former children's librarian at Westminster Libraries, also pointed to a dearth of engaging reading materials, particularly for boys. Among boys, 35% agreed with the statement that "I cannot find things to read that interest me," compared with 26% of girls. For boys on free school meals it was 39%.

- theguardian.com


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