Make half term the “Reading Holiday”

A number of UK studies show a worrying decrease in reading among younger people with only a quarter of under 18s reading every day, resulting in poor literacy rates and self esteem-issues. However,  digital magazine app Readly’s latest figures indicate that digital reading for children is increasing in the UK and other countries.
To encourage reading amongst children, the autumn break in Sweden has been renamed ‘The Reading Holiday’ with initiatives to spread the joy of reading.  Author Bagir Kwiek, Sweden’s Reading Ambassador encourages the UK to follow suit.

At the start of 2020, children and young people’s levels of reading enjoyment were the lowest ever recorded by the National Literacy Trust at 48 percent, during lockdown this increased to 56 percent. Sadly, reading enjoyment dwindles with age - in 2019, nearly twice as many five to eight-year-olds as 14 to 16-year-olds found reading pleasurable with less than half (47 %) of boys keen readers, compared with sixty percent of girls. In contrast, children are spending more time on social media than ever before with 11 year olds posting an average of 26 times a day.

Despite this, Readly digital newsstand’s latest data shows that digital reading among children is increasing. The average time spent per user in the children's categories of Readly’s portfolio of almost 5,000 magazines and newspapers has increased by 40 percent in the last year for comic books, ten percent for children's magazines, and eight percent for teenage magazines. 

- Reading is an important part of family life and as more families and schools have access to tablets and mobile devices, digital reading is playing a greater role than ever before. The growing portfolio of children’s content on our app - from comics to fact and fiction magazines - helps make reading fun and accessible so children are engaged and their imagination is aroused. It’s also the first step to appreciating quality journalism, says Ranj Begley, UK Managing Director and Chief Content Officer at Readly

Research shows that reading with your child for just 10 minutes can make a difference to their happiness and how they perform at school . Sharing a story together provides opportunities to bond and spark conversations whilst also helping improve children’s reading skills and enjoyment.

- Digital reading is becoming an increasingly important part of children’s literacy experiences. It gives children new and exciting ways to access a wide range of reading materials and is particularly effective at getting disengaged groups of children excited about reading. Whether it’s an online magazine or an e-book, it’s important to remember that all reading counts!, says Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive at the National Literacy Trust, the charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK.

Swedish Reading Ambassador, Bagir Kwiek, leads ‘The Reading Week’ initiative during the October half term holiday in Sweden this year to encourage more children to read with better access to inspiring content. He encourages Brits to do the same:

- The importance of the spoken word has for years enabled the spread of stories from generation to generation. Reading and storytelling helps us to connect with each other, develop language, knowledge, imagination and strengthen the connection we have to heritage and traditions, says Bagir Kwiek, author and Swedish Reading Ambassador. The school break, especially with some of the UK locked down this year, is the perfect time to focus on reading and establish a good routine, it’s never too late. Technological advances enable more children to read regardless of language level and digital reading makes infinite opportunities available so many more curious young people are inspired to read. 

His top tips to encourage more children to read during the holiday include:

1. Make reading fun: Reading before going to bed is a classic ritual but for some children, it can be associated with having to stop playing and having fun. Reading time does not have to be just before you go to bed: read under the table just after dinner or read in a hut outside while eating snacks.

2. Write and draw a comic: Encourage your child to draw and write their own comic or book allows them to best explore their imagination. There are no restrictions or rules and the child has the opportunity to read out his work to siblings, friends or grandparents.

3. Digital reading on mobile and tablets: Many children and young people spend time on mobile phones and tablets, where they can easily access digital magazines, comic books and books. Shorter reading sessions with everything from news and review elements to in-depth articles about developments or historical events establish regular habits and stimulate young people's understanding of world events.

4. Easy-to-read comic books: With an emphasis on reading being fun and easy and above all to establish a regular reading habit, access to comic books is a simple tip to help children find reading pleasure. This is also a great way to help children who start to read in a non-native language. 

5. Lead by example: Children imitate their parents and adults around them. As adults, it is important to set an example so perhaps talk about the latest article, magazine  or comic book we read at the dining table.

The UK portfolio of children’s magazines available on the Readly app include National Geographic Kids, The Beano, Go Girl, Toxic and Danger Mouse.  Readly has nearly 5,000 national and international titles available to read on the app with its subscription. 

For more information visit

National Literacy Trust
Internet Matters

Readly data based on UK readers, Jan to 31 of Sep 2020, compared with Jan to Dec 2019.

About Readly
Readly is the European category leader for digital magazines. The company offers a digital subscription service, that lets customers have unlimited access to nearly 5,000 national and international magazines - all in one app and at a fixed monthly fee. Readly has subscribers in more than 50 countries and content available in 17 different languages. In collaboration with around 800 publishers worldwide, Readly is digitizing the magazine industry. In 2019, revenues amounted to SEK 265 million. Since September 2020, the Readly share is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm Midcap.