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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Almost 4m children in Britain do not own a book, poll finds

Almost 4 million children in Britain – one in three – do not own a book, a poll has found. The National Literacy Trust charity, which carried out the survey, said the proportion had risen from one in 10 in 2005. The charity said the findings were very worrying because book ownership was linked to children's futuresuccess in life. Children who read well can often overcome other hurdles that lock their peers into a cycle of disadvantage, it said.

Jonathan Douglas, director of the charity, said children were reading from books and even computers less, but watching films and images on screens more. He said there were many more forms of entertainment competing for children's attention than there used to be. The charity commissioned researchers to quiz more than 18,000 children aged 11 to 16. Almost a fifth – 19% –said they had never received a book as a present and 12% said they had never been to a bookshop.

Girls were slightly more likely than boys to own a book.

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