Education: Encourage a Child to Have a Lifelong Joy of Reading

Article excerpt

WITH World Book Day fast approaching, now is the time to encourage your children to read.

Despite all the gloomy predictions that books would go out of fashion in the computer age, the reality is that sales of children's books are growing steadily every year.

More than 26 million children's books were sold in 2003 and authors such as Jacqueline Wilson, J K Rowling and Philip Pullman have all helped to raise the profile of reading among the young.

Wilson even pipped Catherine Cookson as the most borrowed author in UK libraries - proving that youngsters are still happy to while away time with a good read.

Amanda Stack, assistant manager of Waterstone's in Birmingham High Street, says: 'When a child starts reading it can open up a whole new world to them. Harry Potter acted as a gateway for many children to the joy of reading and got them hooked!

'Once they develop a passion for reading it will never leave them but with so many titles to choose from selecting a book can be a little daunting, so we regularly read and recommend children's books for all ages.

We can suggest something for all tastes and reading ability.' As part of the World Book Day celebrations in Birmingham, local author Jon Turley will be visiting Waterstones in High Street.

He will be talking to children from Raddlebarn School, Selly Oak about his books and how he started writing. The children will also get a tour of the shop to see the life cycle of a book and then get to write their very own reviews, which will then be used in the branch to recommend books to other readers. And to kick youngsters off, Waterstone's staff have put together their top ten books for all ages. …