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60 Incredible Facts About Reading And Books: You Won't Believe Your Eyes

Contents
Reading develops childrens' vocabulary and comprehension skills.

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Parents often worry about the amount of 'screen time' their children have.

In an age where there are popular box sets, and so much social media, it's easy to be concerned about the popularity of reading books. Thankfully, then, you'll be pleased to hear that there is still a huge market for novels, and kids love reading as much as ever.

We've listed interesting facts about reading books for kids, the statistics about reading books, as well as fun facts about reading. The habit of reading is so beneficial for children in so many ways, from improving their literacy and vocabulary to unleashing their creativity and imagination. Don't forget to also check out our facts on specific authors - we've got Emily Dickinson facts and Harper Lee facts.

Fun Facts About Books For Kids

If you're after surprising book facts or fun facts about reading, this is the list for you.

1. The three books that have been read the most are: The Bible, Quotations From Chairman Mao Tes-Tung, and Harry Potter.

2. Harry Potter was rejected by 12 different publishers before Bloomsbury accepted it. J. K. Rowling also had to change her pen name to be more neutral: her publisher believed this would encourage more boys to buy the book.

3. 'Bibliosma' is the word for loving the way books smell.

4. The Guinness World Record for the largest book in the world was awarded to This The Prophet Mohamed in 2012: over 50 people took part in its construction and it weighs over 3000lbs. That's a whole lot of reading!

5. The most expensive book ever purchased was bought by Bill Gates for $30.8 million - it was The Codex Leicester by Leonardo Da Vinci, and had been written in 1510.

6. 88% of Americans who read e-books also read printed books.

7. The world's oldest continually operating library was established in AD 565. It is housed in Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt, and has the second largest collection of ancient manuscripts after the Vatican City.

8. President Theodore Roosevelt read at least one book a day - a real love of reading!

9. The first book ever written on a typewriter was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

10. Alice in Wonderland is based on a real 10-year-old girl with whom Lewis Carroll was friends. She was called Alice Liddell, and, whilst out on a boating trip, asked Caroll to tell her a story.

11. The world's first travelling library was launched in 1857 by British philanthropist George Moore, and it was a horse-drawn wagon that had books mounted on bookshelves.

12. The Library of Congress in Washington, D. C. has over 158 million items in its walls.

13. The capital of Poland, Warsaw, has the biggest number of libraries per capita, at 11.5 libraries per 100,000 citizens.

14. The city that loaned the most books, however, was Tokyo, with 111.9 million book loans in just one year.

15. The word 'library' actually comes from the Latin 'liber' which means the inner bark of trees.

16. The Biblioteca Joanina in Portugal has an unusual method of keeping their books clean. A swarm of bats live in the library and feed on book-eating insects at night, helping to preserve the 300-year-old building and the many books it harbours.

17. The country that reads the most is India, with the average Indian reading 10.7 hours per week.

18. Americans only read half as much, at just over 5 hours per week.

19. However, there are more public libraries than McDonald's in America, with 16,766 public libraries compared to 14,157 McDonald's.

20. The longest ever book title consists of over 3,700 words and 26,000 characters.

21. The longest novel ever written is À la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust, at 1,267,069 words long.

22. The world's youngest published author is Dorothy Straight, who wrote How The World Began at 4 years old in 1962.

Reading out loud to children helps to encourage their own reading enthusiasm and ability.

Reading Statistics

Looking for statistics on reading to children? We provide quantifiable reading facts and statistics, demonstrating how important reading is for children, and the correlation between reading and success.

23. A report from Scholastic suggests that reading out loud to kids throughout elementary school years inspires them to become frequent readers: 40% of frequent readers ages 6 - 10 were read out loud to at home.

24. A study by the Institute for Education found that those who read for pleasure have a 14.4% advantage in vocabulary and a 9.9% advantage in math, compared to their peers.

25. The University of Ottawa demonstrated that people who scored highest on the PISA test (a Canadian school test which includes assessment on reading) were the most engaged university students.

26. After following over 17,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales over 50 years, researchers at Edinburgh University proved that reading well at age seven was linked to better socio-economic status even 35 years on.

27. The University of Maryland found engaged readers from disadvantaged homes outperformed less engaged readers from more advantaged homes. Reading can therefore help overcome traditional socio-economic boundaries.

28. There's a gender gap developing between boys and girls, with boys scoring lower than girls on literacy measures from Grade 3 through to Grade 12.

29. Children with reading difficulties are at greater risk of developing mental health problems later in life.

30. York University found that people who enjoyed reading fiction engaged better in 'theory of mind', learning and developing their emotions alongside the characters whose stories they read. Reading therefore equips readers with greater emotional understanding and empathy.

31. Adults who read for only 30 minutes a week are 20% more likely to have greater life satisfaction.

32. Sixteen-year-olds who read books for pleasure outside of school hours are more likely to secure professional, managerial jobs in later life.

33. Children who frequently read books at 10 years old, and more than once a week at 16 years old, gain higher results in math, vocabulary, and spelling tests than those who read less regularly.

34. Adults with lower literacy levels believe they have little impact on political processes, and are less likely to participate in volunteering activities.

35. The UK estimates that low levels of literacy cost the country £81 billion annually in lost earnings and increased welfare spending.

36. In countries where many adults read more, households are likely to have higher incomes.

37. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that the volume of white matter in the brain increased in people reading over a six-month daily period, improving participants' brain structure and ability to learn.

38. 19% of readers say reading helps them feel less lonely.

39. Non-readers are 28% more likely to report feelings of depression.

40. Researchers at the University of Sussex found reading for just six minutes may reduce stress by up to 68%.

41. It's been found that reading enhances our attention spans: the structure of stories helps kids' brains process things in sequence, which holds their attention for longer and enables clear thinking.

42. Reading proved 600% better at fighting stress than playing a video game.

43. Children who read 3,000 words a day take the top 2% in standardized testing.

44. The National Institute for Literacy estimates 43% of adult Americans with low literacy skills live in poverty.

45. 80% of young adults between the ages of 18 - 29 have read a book in the past year, compared to only 68% of 50 - 64-year-olds.

Children who read are more likely to be confident, articulate, and emotionally intelligent.

What Are The Benefits Of Reading?

Wondering what's the importance of reading books? You'll no longer be asking that question, thanks to these reading facts for students.

46. When we read, we come across different characters, whose life experiences differ from our own. Reading helps to develop a child's ideas and personalities, as kids will compare their beliefs and thought processes to those of the characters they read.

47. Studies have shown that when we are exposed to a greater range of diverse perspectives and motivations, it increases our emotional intelligence.

48. Looking for facts about reading and the brain? Reading is one of the best activities for keeping the brain active and engaged - it is in no way a passive pastime.

49. There's evidence that mental stimulation may help to delay the onset of dementia - reading books keeps the brain active, as we stimulate neural pathways when we imagine the stories we read.

50. Evidence also suggests that reading for just 30 minutes a week improves the health and wellbeing of people.

51. Reading books for pleasure will help improve self-esteem and confidence, enabling us to reach our goals.

52. Reading helps aid our sleep.

53. Reading books also helps many people to broaden their knowledge and expand their horizons.

54. Reading can help reduce stress as kids lose themselves in a good story, staying in the present moment.

55. Kids will come across more words the more they read, which in turn will improve their vocabulary. Being articulate and well-spoken is a huge life skill that will help kids advance in their professional careers.

56. People who read books tend to be better at learning new languages, too.

57. When we read, we come across different plots, narratives, characters, and themes. We have to remember these different components of a book, so reading can help improve memory. With each new memory we forge, we create new synapses in the brain which support short-term memory recall.

58. Equally, reading books strengthens analytical and critical skills, allowing people to form opinions and back them up with evidence.

59. People who read also tend to have better writing skills, as reading the words of other people helps you to develop your own style and vocabulary.

60. It has been demonstrated that people who read spiritual texts may have lower blood pressure, and when people who suffer with mood disorders and mental illness read self-help books, they can be calmer and more at peace.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts on reading, then check out our Treaty of Versailles facts, or Hestia facts.

Author

Written By

Alice Carlill

Alice grew up in London where she's now based, but she's happiest by the sea, or reading somewhere snuggled up with her 5 dogs. She has two younger sisters who keep her on her toes, and is passionate about all things art, literature, and culture - she's written a short collection of poems and continues to edit scripts for theatre, tv, and film on a freelance basis.

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