Sunday, 6 October 2013

The culture of reading

Recently Viv Bird, dynamic CEO of the wonderful Booktrust spoke out about the need to change the culture of reading. She announced the new Booktrust Best Book Awards and spoke of the goal to 'see children pestering their parents for Malorie Blackman’s latest book alongside their pleas for One Direction tickets.'  Like the Children's Laureate we all want 'to get more children reading more.'
Then there has been the great news that Waterstones raised £75,000 for the Children's Reading Fund.
And a report came out that reading levels amongst 7 year olds have risen significantly. However, a survey showed that fewer than 1 in 3 older children read books outside school and many think it 'uncool' to be seen with a book.
Research from the New School for Social Research in New York showed that people who read literary fiction perform better in social interactions. David Kidd, a psychologist, is quoted as saying that "literary fiction really involves the reader in a certain type of social interaction. What a great author of literary fiction does is scaffold our theory of mind---pulling us into a situation where we have to use our capacity to understand people to its fullest extent."
In other words, have a little Chekhov to get through your day.  And then please do go back to Give a Book.

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