HOW TO RAISE A BOOKWORM: Make reading fun, and read aloud to your child early and often. The advice may sound obvious, but Scholastic's latest "Kids & Family Reading Report" offers a trove of graphs and data reinforcing the importance of parenting. According to the survey of 2,558 parents and children, "frequent readers" ages 6-11 read an average of 43 books per year, while their "infrequent" counterparts only get through 21. The gap widens dramatically during ages 12-17 (an average of 39 books read versus 4). One predictor lies in parental involvement: 41% of frequent readers ages 6-11 say they're being read aloud to at home, versus 13% for the other group.
Fun plays a big factor. Nearly all "frequent" readers say they are currently reading or have just finished a book for fun; 75% of infrequent ones "say they haven't read a book for fun in a while." Seventy percent of kids identify the most important "fun" factor as books that "make me laugh," versus 43% who say titles that "teach me something new."
Note for the digital-philes: while 61% of children have read an ebook (versus 25% in 2010), 65% say "they'll always want to read books in print even though there are ebooks available."