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SALT LAKE CITY — As some kids get older, they tend to stop reading much outside of school. It may be due to embarrassment, or other reasons.
One British survey found a year-on-year drop in the number of 8- to 16-year-olds choosing to pick up a book outside of school. Just three in 10 now read every day compared with four in 10 seven years ago.
Crescent View Middle School library and media specialist James Wilson says kids get busy.
- 17% of youngsters would be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading
- 3 in 10 youngsters read daily in their own time, compared with four in 10 in 2005
- 54% of those questioned said they preferred watching TV to reading
- Of those who did read outside class, 47.8% said they read fiction, down from 51.5% in 2005
"They start becoming more active in extracurricular activities, whether it's sports, church or the community," he said.
The British survey found teens were also embarrassed to be seen with a book. Wilson says teens may be more apt to read an e-book. It definitely looks cooler to carry a Tablet or Kindle.
Books like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games helped many tweens and teens become interested in reading again. Wilson says the upcoming movies based on The Hobbit are sparking interest in that book.
"There is something out there for everybody, (you) just have to find it," he said. "We try to get them into the library with book clubs, activities, reading contests, those kinds of things, and encourage them to actually check out a book."
Also, the core curriculum has a new, big emphasis on informational texts and nonfiction.
"It's important for teachers to find informational texts that will be engaging and that students are interested in," he said.