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Children 'not reading enough fiction'

17th February 2010

Parents may want to encourage their children to pick up more J.K. Rowling or Roald Dahl, after a new study found over half do not read fiction for pleasure.

A poll of 1,530 nine to 14-year-olds by the National Literacy Trust discovered that just 42 per cent of boys and 48 per cent of girls read more than one fiction book a month.

In addition, one-third of kids said they do not take great pleasure from reading fiction and see it as 'boring', while eight per cent claimed not to like it at all.

The survey also showed that 'virtual reading', such as viewing emails, websites, blogs and social networking sites, is more popular than fiction, as almost 60 per cent of children do this more than once a month.

Parents may wish to view the study in light of new research from Dr Kirstine Hansen of the University of London, which found that daily reading sessions advanced children in terms of literacy, maths and understanding of the world.

Last month, Booktrust revealed that children participating in its Letterbox Club charity project, which provides them with free reading materials, tend to make significant improvements in literacy ability scores.

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