I didn’t like reading when I was a kid. I saw my parents reading and I had some of my own books but, mostly, I avoided reading. The TV was fast and watching TV was so easy to do! TV was ‘no effort’.
But the TV was almost always the same. The shows were sugary and empty and they soon became boring. Books were…much more difficult but, if you were lucky, a book really delivered! TV numbed your imagination but books seemed to stimulate the power to dream and imagine.
I always thought British kids read more. A recent study tells us that’s only true for British kids from upper-income families. Britain has one of the greatest gaps between the kids who read a lot and the majority of kids who don’t read much at all.
These facts help to explain Britain’s shockingly low scores on the PISA international reading tests. Britain was 23rd out of 36 nations! (The USA was close behind: 24th. I’m happy to say Canada was 9th, which is just barely acceptable. Korea was 5th and Singapore 1st.)
So…there’s a campaign to get British kids reading. That’s good, of course because reading is the basic life skill and a very cheap and enjoyable thing to do. That’s not enough motivation for the government, of course. Some nut has figured out the ‘cost’ of poor reading. As the headline in the Guardian puts it:
Poor reading ‘could cost UK £32bn in growth by 2025’
What nonsense! Does anybody actually believe this foolish number? Anyway, the good thing is that smart people like J.K.Rowling are involved with the campaign and she actually knows how to get massive numbers of kids reading!