Friday, 2 June 2017

Writing - Reading is pleasure

I was a teenage boy once! 
I played football and cricket, had a girlfriend, supported my local football team and more - I read!
Yet once again a study has revealed that teenage boys don't read.

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Only one-third of teenage boys in the UK say they enjoy reading, a study by the National Literacy Trust suggests.
The Trust found a significant drop in boys' reading enjoyment between the ages of eight and 16 - from 72% at ages eight-to-11 to 36% at ages 14-16.
Girls' pleasure in picking up a book also dropped off in the teenage years, though not quite as markedly.

This is not surprising when one considers the range and other forms of entertainment that are available. While teaching in the early 80's, seems like yesterday, I remember reading similar statistics and we decided to look for more 'boy friendly' books. In my classroom the children still enjoyed being read to which, in spite of curriculum pressures, I continued to do. Books the boys and girls enjoyed in particular were The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and The Owl Service by Alan Garner. However, we discovered that actor George Layton had  produced a very readable collection of 'boy friendly' stories - The Fib and other stories.

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This was a very popular collection. However, the real point is that those who have influence over teenagers, whether male or female, should make it their responsibility to put books in the way of their charges. This can be done by reading themselves, having books in the home, visiting the library and talking about their reading experience in front of the children. I'm sure there are many other strategies including recommending books that are available on e readers.

I read for pleasure because it releases the imagination into places it won't normally stray.

God Bless