GSO Test

Reading For Pleasure

Reading for pleasure means any reading that is primarily for enjoyment. It encompasses a wide range of genres and publications, and includes both fiction and non-fiction. For example, gardening or cookery books can be read as instructional texts in order to carry out specific tasks, but can also be read purely for pleasure. Similarly, fiction is often considered to be read for pleasure – but may also be read for academic study.


Reading for pleasure is no longer restricted to the printed word but increasingly includes online reading, whether on a website, or via an e-reader such as a Kindle.


Fiction: Novels, short stories, jokes, comics, poetry, lyrics, plays and scripts

Non-fiction: Reference books, newsletters, letters, emails, biographies, memoirs, newspapers, magazines, websites


The evidence on reading for pleasure

Benefits of reading for pleasure:

• There is a growing body of evidence which illustrates the importance of reading for pleasure for both educational purposes as well as personal development (cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006).

• Evidence suggests that there is a positive relationship between reading frequency, reading enjoyment and attainment (Clark 2011; Clark and Douglas 2011).

• Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status (OECD, 2002).

• International evidence supports these findings; US research reports that independent reading is the best predictor of reading achievement (Anderson, Wilson and Fielding, 1988).

• Evidence suggests that reading for pleasure is an activity that has emotional and social consequences (Clark and Rumbold, 2006).

• Other benefits to reading for pleasure include: text comprehension and grammar, positive reading attitudes, pleasure in reading in later life, increased general knowledge (Clark and Rumbold, 2006).


Your child needs to read at home every day.


Reading on a regular basis is vital. It is important to remind them to use different strategies to read new words, sounding out the word, looking at the pictures and looking for words within words are ways in which the child can read an unknown word. Just as important is discussing the book to check that the child has understood what they have read. Children have a reading record which parents/carers should sign or comment in each time they read with the child.


This can be done in two ways:

* Adults reading to children

Parents are encouraged to read to their children as often as possible. Parents should encourage children to point to words as they are being read. Discussion about the book, the story and the pictures is also important.

* Children reading to an adult

When they are ready to, children will start bringing simple books home to read to an adult. Again, encouraging the child to point to the words as they are being read is important. Discussing the story and the characters and asking questions about the book will help with the child’s understanding of language.

It's never too early to start reading with your baby!

Here are some ways you can try to share stories and rhymes with your child every day.

* Sing rhymes and tell stories to your unborn baby

* They can hear you from around 18 weeks, and will recognise your voice before they are born.

* It's good to start sharing stories, books and rhymes with your child from as early an age as possible

* Babies don’t need to understand all the words, they will just love to listen to your voice, look at the pictures and hold the books.

* Reading books, talking about the pictures and cuddling up close together will help you build a strong and loving relationship with your child

* Everyone in the family can join in: dads, mums, care givers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles.

* Having a baby is tiring and demanding

* Taking time out every day to enjoy a story, book or rhyme will give you and your child time to escape the everyday, enjoy each other’s company and get to know each other better.

* Ask your health visitor about your free Bookstart Baby pack and your local library about your free Bookstart Treasure pack

* You will get free books and lots of good tips and advice to get started.

* Join your library as soon as you can

* Librarians give great book advice and recommendations. And libraries have more books than you could ever own!

* It's important to have books in the home

* If you really enjoy a library book, try to get hold of a copy to keep. You can also ask family and friends to mark every birthday or special occasion with the gift of a book for your child.


How to read with children of any age

* Set aside some time

* Find somewhere quiet without any distractions - turn off the TV/radio/computer.

* Ask your child to choose a book

* Sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters. This means they are more likely to engage with the book.

* Sit close together

* Encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages.

* Point to the pictures

* If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.

* Encourage your child to talk about the book

* Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel.

* And lastly, above all - make it fun!

* It doesn't matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don't be afraid to use funny voices - children love this!


How to read with your child