To me, reading is like breathing – I can barely remember a time when I couldn’t read. I read all the ‘Mr Men’ books at 3 years old, and was blessed with wonderful school libraries in the 1970s that introduced me to Aesop’s Fables, the Greek myths, King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table, and eventually CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.

So it is quite heartbreaking to come across an article in ‘The Bookseller’ which reports a 4.4% drop in the number of books being read by children with “reading decline particularly acute in secondary schools”. Post-pandemic, it seems that young readers are struggling when they reach secondary school; the level of reading difficulty does not increase with age, partly as a result of a drop in actual time spent reading. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be a major factor.

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