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The Evidence « Back

Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. Key outcomes are listed below.

• Improvement in vocabulary in comparison to non-readers (Millenium Cohort Study)
• Correlation between regularity of reading for pleasure and ability in reading each reinforcing the other as students get older (Cremin 2019, Torppa 2020)
• Better performance in subjects other than English (Millenium Cohort Study)
• Reading for pleasure is one of the most important predictors of test scores at age 16, regardless of background (OECD)
• There is a strong correlation between regular reading for Pleasure and Mental Wellbeing which is separate from other predictors (NLT 2018)
• Reading improves a child’s empathy skills (Oatly 2016)
• Interventions developing Reading for Pleasure attitudes (offering book choice and time to read rather than instruction) have a greater influence on reading ability than reading lessons for older children/adults (Greenberg 2014)

The Department for Education’s recent Reading Framework – Teaching the Foundations of Literacy published in July 2021 also includes a summary of the evidence on Reading for Pleasure and highlights how it might be put in practice in the curriculum.

Find out more

Based on the evidence we have created a framework which outlines our approach. You can read the full document here or look at the summaries below.


Thank you to our partners

With thanks to: The National Literacy Trust, Centre for Literacy in Primary Education and The Open University who have been our partners in the development of this approach. We have drawn on their extensive research evidence and they have quality assured this way of working. We have been able to complete this work with support from The Charity of Sir Richard Whittington, a charity associated with the Mercers’ Company.

World Book Day® is a charity sponsored by National Book Tokens.