Books come way down the list of things children enjoy reading

The National Literacy Trust has claimed that, worryingly, books come way down the list of things children enjoy reading.

It said a survey it conducted among 18,000 children aged eight to 17 shows that one in every six read no books whatsoever. This research indicates that improved encouragement from parents is necessary to develop a love of book reading among their children.

Three in five children (59.8%) read text messages outside of school at least once a month. This contrasts with the 45.8% who read a fiction book outside the classroom once a month.

Around a third (35.2%) will pick up a non-fiction book in the same time period, while half of the children will read emails to this extent.

The survey suggests girls are more likely than boys to be found reading fiction, text messages, song lyrics, poems, magazines and messages on social networking websites. Boys are apparently more likely than girls to read newspapers, comics and manuals.

Jonathan Douglas, trust director, said: "Our new research shows that one in six children don't read a book in a month, and we are worried that they will grow up to be (one of) the one-in-six adults who struggle with literacy to the extent that they read to the level expected of an 11 year old or below."

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