There is strong evidence linking reading for pleasure and educational outcomes. We know that academic achievement is of vital importance, but the benefits of reading for pleasure go beyond this and stretch throughout a person's life. A growing number of studies show that promoting reading can have a major impact on children and adults and their future.
The benefits of reading for pleasure are:
- Reading attainment and writing ability
- Text comprehension and grammar
- Breadth of vocabulary
- Positive reading attitudes
- Greater self-confidence as a reader
- Pleasure in reading in later life
- General knowledge
- A better understanding of other cultures
- Community participation
- A greater insight into human nature and decision-making
Research finds reading for pleasure can result in increased empathy, improved relationships with others, reduction in the symptoms of depression and dementia, and improved wellbeing.
In addition to the health benefits, reading for pleasure has social benefits and can improve our sense of connected relationships to the wider community. Reading increases our understanding of our identity, improves empathy and gives us insight into the world view of others. And Book Clubs can take it one step further. Reading is often a solitary activity but book clubs are a great way to come together socially and discuss and share your thoughts. A story may give you a better understanding of a character's perspective but a discussion of this story may show you how others relate to it and connect the story to real people, issues, cultures and concepts that you would not usually experience.
There's also a couple of Book Clubs for Kids! The Wondrous Society of Reading Book Club at Watsonia Library and Tween Reads at Mill Park Library for 9-12 year old children. These groups focus on sharing loved books and characters, bookish activities and connecting with other readers. Positive face-to-face interaction about common interests is so important for parents to encourage from an early age. It is especially needed as upper primary aged children transition into teenagehood and screens and online interaction continues to grow.
Other regular social bookish groups include:
Blokes, Books & Lunch at Whittlesea Library
Bedside Reads at Lalor Library
Book Chat at Mill Park Library
Read-aloud Book Group at Diamond Valley Library
Book Clubs with possible spaces available.
Did you know?
Non-library users are found to be more than three times more likely to only read when in class, and more than three times more likely to state that they cannot find anything to read that interests them, and almost three times as likely to rate themselves as not very good readers compared to library users. (A great reason to join your local library, especially since Yarra Plenty Regional Library no longer has any fines. Find out how to join YPRL quickly and easily.
The research found a link between library use and reading for pleasure; young people that use their public library are nearly twice as likely to be reading outside of their class every day. Public library users are nearly twice as likely to say that they enjoy reading either very much or quite a lot.
WOW! You love reading and your are enjoying all the benefits - go you! Do you know someone else you could encourage to read for pleasure and enjoy these benefits too? Do your kids think reading is boring or a chore or homework? Let us help encourage them to enjoy books and have fun!
The Wondrous Society of Reading are currently reading:
The next book The Wondrous Society of Reading will be reading for Halloween is: