Three in 10 children in the UK do not own a single book of their own, with alarming implications for their future prospects, according to new research. The survey by the National Literacy Trust also shows that boys are less likely to own books than girls.
The survey of 18,141 young people found that four in 10 boys did not own any books, compared to three in 10 girls. Children who did not own books were two-and-a-half times more likely (19%) to read below their expected level than children who had their own books (7.6%), and were also significantly less likely (35.7%) to read above their expected level than book-owning children (54.9%). The online survey took place in November and December last year, with the majority of participants aged between 11 and 13 years old.
I actually cried (and I’m not sure I can or want to believe these statistics). This is horrific - how could you own no books? How would you exist? What do you do? (Although you probably just go to the library, I don’t know.)
Books are everywhere in my house. Come to think of it, when I was 14 I turned my room into a kind of house library (which was difficult because the house was really small but I felt that giving up the space was a necessary sacrifice). I lived in charity shops as a kid. 20p books were (and still are) my meat.
If you live in England and don’t have any books I will send you some.
It’s such a privilege to read books. :)