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More Teenagers Are Dropping Books For Facebook, Twitter

Youngsters in the 12-17 age group are increasingly abandoning books and turning to social media such as Facebook and Twitter, a new study on children’s reading habits has revealed.

The study found that less than a quarter of teenagers are “frequent” readers of books, reports BT.com.

More than half (54 per cent) of six to eight year-olds were frequent readers and read books for fun five to seven days a week, but this dramatically declines over the teenage years, the study found.

A child’s enjoyment of reading also declines with age, with 80 per cent of those aged six to eight reporting that they love or like reading, compared with just 43 per cent of 15-17-year-olds.

As children turn their backs on books as they get older, they are spending more time playing games or logging on to the internet via tablets or smartphones instead.

Three-quarters (76 per cent) of 15 to 17-year-olds visit social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter five to seven days a week and 80 per cent go on smartphones this often.

Though the survey showed that the allure of the screen in the digital age is more tempting for youngsters, a majority of them expressed preference for printed books over ebooks.

Nearly two-thirds of children (65 per cent) — up from 2012 (60 per cent) — agreed that they would always want to read books in print even through there were e-books available.

The survey was commissioned by Britain-based children’s publishing company Scholastic in conjunction with YouGov. It questioned 1,755 parents and children about reading habits.

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