Children want books about gaming this Christmas, according to new polling

Published on: 07 December 2017

As Christmas approaches, we're urging parents to put the fun back into reading by giving books that hold – rather than fight for –  their child’s attention. 

Our new polling shows that one-fifth of parents say they buy their children books for Christmas, but confess their children don’t always read them. Over a third of parents state the main obstacle they face when getting their children to read is a preference for digital devices, and a quarter blame their children’s love of gaming.

However, books about hobbies are three times more popular with children than the classics.

With the festive period fast approaching, giving children books linked to a child's passions and hobbies is a great way to give them the bug for reading. Over two-thirds of 6-11-year-olds surveyed said they were likely to read if they got a book about their hobbies – and this was especially the case for boys. 

Get the right book this Christmas

This Christmas, as part of the Time to Read campaign, we have produced a carefully chosen list of recommendations to help parents find the books that are likely to really engage their children. Themes on this list include gaming and animals, reflecting the other popular activities chosen by children surveyed.

We know from our research that nearly a quarter of parents admit that, although they sometimes buy their children books for Christmas, they often struggle when deciding what books to get. When asked what their favourite thing to read about would be, a quarter of children said computer/video games.

See our book suggestions

Parents and authors making Time to Read

Supporting the campaign, chef, presenter and children’s author Nadiya Hussain said:

'I fully back BookTrust’s Time to Read campaign to get families reading together for fun this Christmas. As a mum, I understand it can be hard to find books that your kids want to pick up, which is why it’s so important to give them books related to hobbies that they enjoy. Children will eventually find that book they love, and once that love comes, it never goes away.'

Taran Matharu, New York Times bestselling children's author and Wattpad sensation, plus our current Writer in Residence, said:

'Video games, just like novels, are a form of storytelling. Some might say that gamers and readers have a lot more in common than they think – they just prefer different mediums. It’s my belief that the passion for the setting of a favourite game can help get gamers into reading.

This new polling from BookTrust shows kids want to read books about things they are interested in, and we need to harness that and make sure those books find their way into reluctant readers' hands.'

Could you find the Time to Read in the holidays?

Download our full press release (PDF)

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Time to Read for families

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Let's read more with children because brilliant things happen when families find Time to Read. Every four-year-old in England will get a free book to enjoy and share this September, with Time to Read.

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