The aim of the survey was to identify adolescents’ reading interests and habits.
Collection of data took a whole month, targeting both boys and girls aged between thirteen to eighteen years. The composition of the respondents was 1764 girls and 1289 boys. Thus, a total of 3053 respondents participated.
Sample Responses to Survey Questions
Question: Do you enjoy reading?
â€œI enjoy reading, as it gives me an opportunity to expand my scope of knowledge about the world, cultures, and all that,â€ girl, thirteen years.
â€œI read when I cannot avoid it, especially when at school and I have to read for the exams,â€ boy, fifteen years.
â€œReading helps me relax. I like books with stories that engage my mind totally. Reading them helps me forget my problems, as they give me a different experience,â€ girl, eighteen years.
â€œOf course, I love it. Reading has helped shape my perception of different aspects of life. I still feel I am not doing enough reading,â€ boy, twelve years.
78 percent of the respondents read for pleasure. 57 percent of the boys preferred reading for study purposes rather than for pleasure, while 80 percent of the girls preferred reading for pleasure than for study.
70 percent read magazines. Girls focus on fashion and beauty magazines, while boys read magazines about video games and vehicles.
35 percent did not like reading. This category had larger number of boys, than girls, who considered reading to be a boring affair.
56 percent said their seniors encourage them to read, while 65 percent said it is their peers who encourage them to read.
80 percent of the boys read electronic equipment manuals, compared to 24 percent of the girls.
56 percent of girls and 27 percent of boys enjoyed sharing their reading experiences with friends.
Most Enjoyed Genres
87 percent – fantasy fiction
79 percent – humor
70 percent – horrors/thrillers
The findings indicated that a majority of the teens read for pleasure. This is shown by a huge percentage (78 percent) of the teens who shared their opinion. The girls enjoyed reading magazines that focused on fashion and beauty. The girls argued that by doing this they remained updated to the latest fashion trends. They also got useful information on where to buy the latest fashion clothes, make-ups, and the associated costs. Other information provided by the magazines included household shopping and latest gossips. Boys were comfortable with magazines about video games and automobiles. Boys argued that these magazines helped them compare different video games and decide which one to buy. The boys also enjoyed magazines about automobiles. From these magazines, the boys compared the features of the various automobiles. However, the most part did it for fun due to the lack of purchasing power.
A minority of the teens, 35 percent, did not like reading. Most of them complained that they did not have time to read due to huge amounts of homework and extracurricular activities. Some of the teens, especially boys, considered reading to be a boring affair. They only read for study purposes and had no interest to read during free time. These boys preferred playing video games and watching movies to reading. However, this was in total contrast to girls. Most girls preferred reading for pleasure. The girls argued that reading for pleasure was vital for them, and they would spare some study time to get updated to things like fashion. They also enjoyed reading horror and fantasy fiction books, comparing to boys.
According to the findings, teens are encouraged to read by their seniors. This includes seniors in school and members of the teens’ family. However, the young people have the strongest influence in encouraging their fellow peers to read. This often happens when a friend shares an experience of a certain book. However, the biggest barrier to reading is time, with most teens arguing that they find it difficult to find free time for reading. This affects the older pupils more, as the number of responsibilities increases.
According to the respondents, reading has also been cited to have had an impact on teens’ perception of life. Some of the teenagers argued reading books have brought benefits beyond the normal education. The books have influenced the kind of life they want to lead, including the careers they want to pursue. The books have also encouraged understanding of various cultures and different people. Enjoyment of reading impacts the significance which reading holds. Those who do not enjoy reading argue they have better things to do. The findings also revealed some factors that encourage the teens to read. Some of the teens are attracted by the cover of the book, while others read books they had seen at a book club. A film may influence a teen to select a certain book for reading, if it is about an interesting film. A book may also be selected for reading if it reflects the interests of the teen, like hobbies, for example.