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Wednesday, 13 March, 2002, 02:15 GMT
Girls 'read twice as much as boys'
Teenager
Teenage boys read for an average of 20 minutes a day
Teenage girls spend almost twice as much time reading as their male counterparts, according to a survey.

A survey of school children for Thursday's World Book Day found that 15 to 16 year old teenage boys spent 2.3 hours a week reading for pleasure, compared with 4.5 hours for girls.

This "screen-age" generation of boys prefers television, with an average of 11 hours a week, and computer games, played for an average of nine hours a week.

But whenever they were reading, boys were doing so because they enjoyed it, with 81% of 11 to 12 year olds and 76% of 14 to 16 year olds reporting their satisfaction with reading.

The most popular author was JK Rowling, writer of the Harry Potter series. And teenage boys particularly enjoyed the works of Lord of the Rings author, JRR Tolkien.

Free book tokens

Girls' enthusiasm for reading is reflected in their test and exam results, outperforming boys in English in both primary and secondary school.

The survey found that 11 to 12 year old girls were the most enthusiastic readers, with more than five hours of reading for pleasure.

World Book Day promotes reading among young people - and every child at school will receive a 1 book token.

There will also be events and competitions held around the country, promoting an interest in books and reading.

See also:

11 Mar 99 | Education
The books children are reading
21 Aug 00 | UK
Lads' reading matter
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