Book Lovers Day might be a US national holiday celebrated on 9 August, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate and celebrate reading and literature in the UK too!
Over the years, we’ve had some great blog posts about literacy and the importance of reading for pleasure. Recently, Egmont UK found that children’s reading for pleasure was in decline and that one of the most effective ways to encourage children to read independently was to read aloud to them. Following their findings, Egmont decided to lobby Government to change the curriculum and started a petition to make daily storytime compulsory for all primary school children. School Library Association’s Alison Tarrant has also written about the importance of reading aloud throughout school to make books more accessible and equal for all students.
After a recent announcement that poetry, among other subject areas, will be optional at GCSE, it’s important now more than ever to remember the benefits that poetry can bring. In a blog post last year, Jon Biddle wrote about raising the profile of poetry among primary school children and shared three ideas his school used to make it an integral part of the school day. Just because the subject is now optional due to COVID-19, doesn’t mean the next generation of children should miss out.
It’s not just primary children who should be encouraged to read for pleasure. Teenagers are more likely to define themselves as “non-readers” and are less likely to read books for pleasure as they would rather be doing anything else. Young adult author Faye Bird wrote a lovely piece on how to keep teenagers interested in reading for pleasure and in another blog post teacher Andy McHugh shared his thoughts on encouraging college students to read.
Finally, last year author Dawn Finch wrote a piece for our blog about wider benefits of reading for absolute pleasure sharing her ideas for how schools can examine their relationship with reading for pleasure.