Reading
BOoks
For Fun

2

“Reading makes me feel a sense of doing something positive and at the same time, fun.”

— 15-year-old boy, WY

WANT KIDS TO READ MORE? HERE’S HOW...

Frequent readers are defined as children who read books for fun 5–7 days a week, whereas infrequent readers read books for fun less than one day a week.

The majority of children ages 6–17 (86%) agree it is very important for their future
to be a good reader.

Children’s Agreement with Statement:
“It is very important for my future to be a good reader”

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK12. Please tell me whether you agree a lot, agree a little, disagree a little, or disagree a lot with each of the following statements.
NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.

Three-quarters of children (76%) also know they should read more books for fun.

Children’s Agreement with Statement:
“I know I should read more books for fun”

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK12. Please tell me whether you agree a lot, agree a little, disagree a little, or disagree a lot with each of the following statements.
NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.

Children’s reading frequency is fairly steady since 2010, but does show a slight decline over the years in the percentage of kids who read books for fun 5–7 days a week.

Frequency with Which Children Read Books for Fun

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK6. How many days a week do you read [ADDED FOR AGES 6–8: or look at] books for fun?

Girls are more likely than boys to be frequent readers, as are younger children compared with older children.

Percentage of Children Who Read Books
for Fun 5–7 Days a Week

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK6. How many days a week do you read [ADDED FOR AGES 6–8: or look at] books for fun?
NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.

Compared with 2010, kids are slightly more likely to say reading books for fun is important, while parents are slightly less likely to say so.

Parents’ and Children’s Views on the Importance of
Child Reading Books for Fun

Base: Parents with Children Ages 6–17 (Left) and Children Ages 6–17 (Right)

QP2. As your child grows up, how important is it to you that your child reads books for fun?
QK3. How important is it to you to read [ADDED FOR AGES 6–8: or look at] books for fun?
NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.

The rise in children’s views of reading importance since 2010 is mainly up among
9–17 year-olds.

Children’s Views on the Importance of Reading Books for Fun

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK3. How important is it to you to read [ADDED FOR AGES 6–8: or look at] books for fun? This means reading books that are not part of your schoolwork or homework [ADDED FOR AGES 6–8: and could mean reading by yourself or with someone else]. NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.

Children’s reading enjoyment is also fairly steady since 2010, but down significantly among kids ages 12–14.

Degree to Which Children Enjoy Reading Books for Fun

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK4. How much do you enjoy reading books for fun? NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.

Four in 10 children (41%), increasing with age, say they have trouble finding books they like.

Children’s Agreement with Statement:
“I have trouble finding books that I like“

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK12. Please tell me whether you agree a lot, agree a little, disagree a little, or disagree a lot with each of the following statements. NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.
Parents underestimate the degree to which children have trouble finding books they like.

 

Parents’ and Children’s Agreement with Statements:
“My child has trouble finding books he/she likes”
“I have trouble finding books that I like”

Base: Children Ages 6–17 and Parents with Children Ages 6–17

QK12. Please tell me whether you agree a lot, agree a little, disagree a little, or disagree a lot with each of the following statements.
QP19. Please indicate whether you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, or disagree strongly with each of the following statements.
NOTE: The data in this chart are the summary of both “Agree a lot” and “Agree a little” among kids, and “Agree strongly” and “Agree somewhat” among parents. See Appendix D for full question responses.

Parents and other adult family members—along with teachers and school librarians— are the top people in children’s lives who encourage them to read books for fun.

Who Encourages Child to Read Books for Fun

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK19. Which of the following people encourage you to read books for fun?
NOTE: The net items combine “teachers” and “school librarian,” and “brothers, sisters, cousins” and “friends” respectively.

Across ages, children turn to teachers, school librarians, friends, siblings or cousins to get ideas about which books to read for fun, while use of social media increases with age.

Sources from Which Children Get the Best Ideas
About Books to Read for Fun

Base: Children Ages 6–17

QK28. From which of the following do you get the best ideas about books to read for fun? NOTE: The net items combine “teacher” and “school library/librarian,” “brothers, sisters, cousins” and “friends,” and “school book fair” and “book club order form that the teacher sends home” respectively.

Parents agree every community needs public and school libraries.

Parents’ Agreement with Statements

Base: Parents with Children Ages 0–17

QP19. Please indicate whether you agree strongly, agree somewhat, disagree somewhat, or disagree strongly with each of the following statements NOTE: See Appendix D for full question responses.

HISPANIC CHILDREN’S VIEWs ON THE IMPORTANCE AND ENJOYMENT OF READING BOOKS FOR FUN

Frequent readers are defined as children who read books for fun 5–7 days a week, whereas infrequent readers read books for fun less than one day a week.
In this analysis, Hispanic families are compared with non-Hispanic families and unless otherwise specified, all differences that are highlighted between the groups are statistically significant at the 90% confidence level or higher. The Hispanic families in the survey represent wide geographic and socio-economic diversity, however it should be noted that the survey was only offered in English. See Appendix C for sample sizes.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN’s VIEWS ON THE IMPORTANCE AND ENJOYMENT OF READING BOOKS FOR FUN

Frequent readers are defined as children who read books for fun 5–7 days a week, whereas infrequent readers read books for fun less than one day a week.
In this analysis, African-American families are compared with non-African-American families and unless otherwise specified, all differences that are highlighted between the groups are statistically significant at the 90% confidence level or higher. See Appendix C for sample sizes.