Indian Parents Prefer Reading Books From Own Childhood to Kids Rather Than Choosing New Titles: Survey

Nearly two-thirds of the parents in India, much like their global counterparts, prefer to read their children books they enjoyed in their own childhood, rather than choosing newer titles, claims new research from Oxford University Press (OUP).

The research which was part of a national survey carried out following an OUP study that gathered the views of 4,000 parents across the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and China.

During the research, when asked what their favorite book or author was to read to their child, parents named classic stories from Enid Blyton and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The Panchatantra fable series also proved popular.

The research also revealed the power of reading in helping young people to make sense of the world around them. More than 75 per cent parents surveyed in India, see reading to their children as an opportunity to discuss difficult or sensitive topics with them and 85 per cent look for books that teach their children about wider society or have a meaningful message at their hearts.

In the global study, almost four in 10 (37 per cent) parents said that they did not know how to find out what the latest books are, and almost half (47 per cent) prefer to re-read books to their child, rather than look for something new.

It isn’t just parents who favor familiar books: six in 10 (56 per cent) said their children preferred them to revisit the same books at story time, and half (48 per cent) of those whose children read independently said their children preferred to re-read books to themselves, said the survey. The parents surveyed in India reflected a similar sentiment. However, over 70 per cent of these parents preferred reading physical books to their children rather than audio books or websites.

Nigel Portwood, CEO of Oxford University Press said: ‘We all recognize the importance of reading and the positive impact it can have on a child during key development years. It provides an opportunity to bond with family, while also opening people’s eyes to new worlds and ideas. It is wonderful that family favorites continue to be loved and enjoyed by parents and children alike. However, reading is also a valuable tool for helping young people to understand current and future societal issues. It’s clear that more must be done to support parents in accessing materials for reading at home—including helping them to identify new titles that they can read alongside family favorites—to ensure that all children experience the benefits that reading has to offer.’

Sumanta Datta, Managing Director of Oxford University Press India (OUPI), further added, “Reading is considered an important life skill, one that extends beyond enhancing vocabulary or improving the child’s grammar. Books serve as a child’s window to the world, allowing them to explore and discover the nuances of society and culture. However, the gaps in expected reading levels have become wider as a result of the pandemic. We at OUP are committed through our products and book titles to help parents, teachers and children, overcome challenges and inculcate an inherent love for reading. We hope to encourage children as they embark on their journey of becoming life-long readers and reap its innumerable benefits.”

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