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Supporting recreational book reading in adolescents: What you can do

Merga, M.K. (2016) Supporting recreational book reading in adolescents: What you can do. International Journal of the Book, 14 (1). pp. 1-14.


While the international conversation about literacy is heavily concerned with skill acquisition, particularly in the early years, insufficient attention is given to developing will, and hence fostering life-long reading. As regular recreational book reading offers a wide range of benefits, supporting this practice should be a key aim of educators, librarians, parents, and researchers. This paper highlights the range of established and emerging benefits of recreational book reading, subsequently outlining how we can support adolescent readers to read more books. It draws deeply from the available research, particularly findings from the West Australian Study in Adolescent Book Reading (WASABR), which has achieved wide attention both in Australia and internationally. It will also be contended that the current body of research indicates that book reading offers greater benefit than reading of other textual sources. Evidence-based recommendations for educators, librarians, and parents wishing to support recreational book reading are presented, with emerging areas of significance for future research also outlined.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
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