Children's book-reading habits: A new criterion for literacy

Paul T. Wilson, Richard C. Anderson, Linda G. Fielding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


No reasonable person could argue against learning to read. The point of this article is that learning to read is not just a matter of mastering a few simple skills, nor is literacy just a matter of passing a reading test. Learning to read must involve acquiring the reading habit. Literacy must be viewed as the regular exercise of reading skills through reading books. The time-honored reasons why children should read books are now bolstered and supplemented by new research evidence that book reading can make a unique and powerful contribution to children's reading development. Our society, then, must provide all possible encouragement and opportunity for children to read books. Access to books is a necessary condition for becoming a good reader. Reading itself is the key to literacy. Helping America's children build lifelong reading habits must now be regarded as a true national priority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-84
Number of pages13
JournalBook Research Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Marketing


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