Reading for Pleasure

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one." (George R.R. Martin)

Reading for Pleasure

Here at St Margaret’s we encourage students not only to read around their subject area, but also to read for pleasure. All students can borrow from a vast collection of books in the Resource Centre. Our Reading Surveys suggest that the majority of students enjoy reading and they are actively encouraged by our Reading Advocate, Miss S Haworth, Resource Centre Manager, to recommend books they would like to read. We also have an Author of the Month in the Resource Centre which has proved a popular initiative. In addition, we have produced tips for parents to encourage their children to read at home and recommended some useful websites.

Reading Survey and Websites

We have just carried out a reading survey amongst our new Year 7 students.  Here are some of the things the students have said about reading for pleasure:

  • “There are so many interesting books around, so I buy and read them”
  • “It’s fun”
  • (I read) because I like getting lost in a book”
  • “Because reading transfers me to other worlds and feeds my imagination”
  • “It is enjoyable when you clear your mind and think about the fictional story of someone else’s life”

To encourage your children to read for pleasure here are some useful websites:
Includes recommendations of books for boys. Information about encouraging boys to read.
20 sites and tools to encourage lifelong reading
Book recommendations
Students can nominate up to 2 titles for these prestigious children’s awards

Creating a Reading Environment at Home

Tips for parents to encourage students to read at home

Parents and other family members need to be involved in children’s reading throughout their school years.  St Margaret’s recognises the importance of parental involvement in students’ progress and increasingly encourages parents to play a more active role.

Make reading materials available

To create a healthy reading environment, start with a good supply of reading materials – newspapers, magazines, books.  It doesn’t matter whether they are owned or borrowed, used or new.  Don’t forget - All students at St Margaret’s can borrow a book from the Resource Centre. Set aside a spot in your home for a family library.  You don’t need much space: a corner of a room with a bookshelf, comfortable furniture and adequate lighting will do.  In choosing materials, remember that variety counts.  Instead of focusing on the number of books, keep in mind the interests of each family member.  A small collection of books thoughtfully gathered over a period of time is better than a large collection that goes unread. Paperback and hardback covers, a dictionary, an atlas, magazines and newspapers are all useful.

Be reading role models

If children see their parents reading daily – even for function or pleasure – they are more likely to become avid readers themselves.  If children see parents visiting libraries and checking our books, giving and receiving books as gifts, and borrowing and loaning books to friends, they will know that their parents place a high value on reading

Encourage personal libraries

Children often want their own place to keep books.  If your child’s room does not have a bookshelf or bookcase, use a basket or box for storage.

Let your children choose the books they want to add to their collection. Many children get hooked on a particular series of books which fires their imagination. A book buying trip to a car boot sale or book shop or simply buying from Amazon is a fun activity.

Take your children to the library regularly. Even a child with a well-stocked bookshop needs a fresh supply of books.

Encourage children to treat library books with the same care they would treat their own.

Give your children books or magazine subscriptions as gifts.


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