In a piece in the Independent by education editor Richard Garner asks whether the days of children reading traditional books are numbered. Jonathan Douglas, the director of the National Literacy Trust cites a survey of nearly 30,000 pupils which shows that in the UK :
... children's reading habits slump dramatically after they start at secondary school. The typical eight-year-old reads nearly 16 books a year but, by the time they reach 15 or 16, this has dwindled to just over three books per year. The big drop-off starts after the first year of secondary school, when the number of books read falls from nearly 12 a year to just six.The study also shows a growing trend towards reading comics, magazines, newspapers and online articles, and playing computer games.
Douglas says publishers need to adapt to the challenge :
They have to produce more graphic novels. Children are much more visually conscious than they were before – and the book trade must reflect this.On the same theme, really, Reading Copy links to a lovely article in the Chicago Tribune about a couple of mad keen bookaholics but asks, quite rightly, why should those who love books be considered oddballs?