Year 7: "Hands up how many people read books"......

The new 'book'?

One of the fascinating comments I had today while teaching a new starter group in my school was after asking a question about the number of them that read books. The response, while admittedly, unsurprising was the fact that about 80% of them said they didn't read books at all. And of course, this was followed up by a comment from one of the kids that the only thing they read nowadays is on the Internet.

I have to say that I was kind of expecting this - I've read enough articles and books about the topic to be aware of it. And in many ways, I can see why books just don't have that incentive when they're competing against the likes of Facebook, the Internet in general, normal playtime, and computer games.

But the question whether kids stopping reading long-form text is a good thing or not. Personally, I know there's a lot to be said from reading such material - I wonder if there is even a subconscious training for focus that comes from reading. Internet-based reading is very short, only articles or links to posts that they see from friends.

do you think this is a good thing?

And how do we, as teachers, persuade pupils to read for actual enjoyment, and not only as required reading for work (that they probably receive through subjects such as English)?