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Teens ditch books for social media

Books are being shelved for social media by teenagers according to a new study


A YouGov survey questioned 1,755 parents and children about their reading habits.

It found less than a quarter of teenagers are “frequent” readers of books, with just 24 per cent of 12 to 14-year-olds picking one up for fun.

The figure is even lower amongst 15 to 17-year-olds at just 17 per cent.

Instead it seems many are now spending their spare time on social media sites or surfing the internet.

The survey also found that a child’s enjoyment of reading appears to decline with age.

Around 80 per cent of those aged six to eight reported that they love or like reading, compared with just 43 per cent of 15 to 17-year-olds.

It seems the decline of reading could be down to the growth of the digital age.

Many families now have access to the internet via tablets or smartphones while at home.

Around with 76 per cent of 15 to 17-year-olds are using social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter five to seven days a week.

The study suggests that children whose parents read to them are more likely to be frequent readers.

Poet Pie Corbett said: “The daily bedtime story is a precious and memorable time. Children who arrive in school having been read to daily, arrive with a wealth of language and a developed imagination.

“This should be carried on throughout the whole of primary school so that parents share books that are beyond children’s reading level.

“There is a direct link between the daily bedtime story from birth to 11 years and success in education.”

In June research by the Book Trust revealed that only a quarter of fathers aged 15-24 read to their child.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show there are now 229,000 men who stay at home with their children – up from 111,000 in 1993.

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