Children think reading is "uncool" and boring

  • 22 June 2012
Child reading Image copyright PA

Children think reading is "uncool", and would rather spend time online than looking at a classic book, teachers say.

More than 400 English teachers were questioned about how much they think pupils enjoy reading.

The majority said they think children prefer to spend time online and two out of three think reading isn't seen as cool.

The man in charge of schools for the government, Nick Gibb, says he's not surprised by the results.

He wants kids to master the basics of reading early so that then they can explore books like Harry Potter and eventually get onto classic authors like Charles Dickens.

This chat page is now closed. But you can read some of the comments below.

Your Comments: "I really enjoy reading but only have time to do it in the evenings. I don't let it bother me if people think it is uncool as I am not going to stop reading for them. They don't know what they are missing!"

Mona, Stockport, England

"I think reading is cool. Reading isn't just about reading books, it's about reading other things like signs, posters and labels. Whilst reading books might be considered 'uncool', you are certainly not going to look cool when you can't read a simple sign."

Caitlin, London, England

"I love reading, I do it every day! I don't care if everyone else thinks it's boring or uncool. I'm happy to read because it's what I love to do. I've already gone through eight Dickens books and I don't consider stopping for anyone else's opinion about 'cool'. So what if I'm not everyone else's version of 'cool'. My cool is reading."

Saskia, London, England

"I love both. Surfing the web is cool but if you spend too much time on it you can get headaches. Reading can help you relax and make your worries go away."

Mackenzie, Darlington, England

"I love reading, it's not every day that you can talk to a writing spider called Charlotte."

Mickey, Bristol, England

"I think it depends on the amount of time you read for, but I enjoy it as it helps my story writing."

Imy, Greater London, England

"Reading is not uncool, the books you read improve your spelling and grammar, as well as being a very soothing occupation. In addition, computer games and technology in large amounts are not healthy, but are fine in moderation."

Ameerah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

"Reading is not uncool. The people who prefer videos and computer games obviously don't know what they're missing out on. Books like Harry Potter and Matilda are full of adventures, funny jokes and new ideas. Reading helps you to learn new things and it's so relaxing, especially at night because it helps you go to sleep. Overall, I'd say that reading is not uncool and it's the best thing you could ever do."

Amy, Northampton, England

"Reading is not uncool, it's brilliant. I couldn't live without books! My mum reads to me, and my brother as well sometimes, and I love it. Though spending time on the internet is also useful!"

Eleanor, England

"Reading is awesome! I read for two hours a day. How can reading be uncool? I don't understand why teachers think that 2 in 3 people don't like reading!"

Jack, West Sussex, England

"Reading is reading - whether your using a book or a screen. It's not the paper that matters, it's the words."

Elizabeth, Somerset, England

"I think it's cool to read books anywhere! I read whenever I can, I don't care if I read in school as long as I'm reading!"

Laila, Bristol, England

"I think reading is awesome. Children should get into the habit of reading before bed - it is a good excuse to go to bed later!"

Bethany, Portsmouth, England

"I hate this whole cliché of 'cool and uncool'. Reading is amazing, but so is playing on the computer. I think everyone needs to stop being so obsessed with looking cool, or appearing cool in front of friends. You shouldn't be defined as a person just because you enjoy something."

Joanne, Chepstow, Wales

"Most people think of reading as just looking at a page of words, but it's so much more. A story can take you to loads of amazing places while you're just sitting on your bed! But that doesn't mean that computers are bad - you can enjoy both!"

Bronte, London, England

"I love reading. I love that when you read a book it feels like you're in it, like you're one of the characters. I usually go on the internet too, mostly I use it to read books though. I think it's good to read and go online!"

Fabiha, London, England

"I really love reading because you don't see the pictures so it's good for your imagination."

Taylor, Romford, England

"I think reading is amazing with all the adventures you can have. Also, reading is good for your brain."

Bowan, Bristol, England

"Definitely not, I could read and read all day. Teachers and parents should encourage us to read for at least half an hour to an hour."

Rhiannon, Greater London, England

"I think that if it was easier to get magazines and books online then more children would read books that way."

Hannah, Leeds, England

"I enjoy reading at home but I think it is a bit antisocial to read at school when I could be talking to my friends."

Kate, Sussex, England

"I think they are just as important as each other. Reading is important in certain areas of education and going on the computer is good to practise ICT skills. They are both cool."

Lucy, Hull, England

"I would rather read than do anything else. If you want to have multiple adventures throughout the summer and you don't have much money then you can just get stuck into a good book. It is the best thing to do when you're bored."

Emily, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

"I think reading is great on so many levels. I love all Jacqueline Wilson books."

Emma, Glasgow, Scotland

"I think that reading is brilliant, I love reading! It's one of my favourite things to do! You just have to find a book or author that you really like!"

Holly, Bristol, England

"I always read during the evening as it helps me to relax, but during the day I play computer games."

Lewis, London, England

"Reading is not uncool- it takes your imagination to loads of magical places! You can't just take a bus to Hogwarts can you!"

Will, Oxfordshire, England

"I think it's important to read, but does it really matter where you read? If it's on the web it's still reading."

Matt, Reading, England

"I think reading can be fun but I find other things better and would rather be outside or on the computer."

Victoria, Portsmouth, England

"I think reading is good but the internet is also fun. I would rather spend time reading a good book than going on the computer, although sometimes I like using the computer."

Katie, Essex, England

"We disagree that reading is seen as uncool. Our class would choose to read over other activities. Reading helps in all areas of children's learning including writing and history."

Class 8, Barnsley, England

"I love reading. I try to read at least two chapters a day, at weekends and during the holidays. I enjoy going on the internet as well. I think it's good to do both!"

Mary-Jane, Buckinghamshire, England