Reading is still popular

Books still more popular than tablets and co. | How do I turn my child into a "bookworm"?

Reading is a great miracle. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (writer, 1830-1916)

Adventure, fate, knowledge - books can take us into strange worlds, touch us, explain things, change perspectives and much more. This is why children's contact with books is so important - it entertains, opens up new perspectives and also trains language skills.

The foundation stone for later reading is laid in preschool age. For children, the first encounter with the written word usually takes place through reading aloud. But you can also use picture books to discover the world between two book covers.

“While reading, the toddlers pay close attention to the articulation of words - not just how they are generally pronounced, but also how they are pronounced in very specific situations, how they sound when whispered, shouted, shouted or sung. Words are assigned to pictures in a book so that children learn the names of objects, plants and animals at the same time, ”explains author and literary scholar Dr. Stefan Müller ("111 reasons to read books. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 14.95 euros").

77 percent of 6- to 13-year-olds read a book at least once a week, and children are also directly involved in the selection of literature. That was the result of the current “Kids Consumer Analysis”. "Parents pay attention to their children's early access to reading and language education," says publishing director Jan Puhlmann.

The fact that children still like to use books and magazines today is consistent with the long-term observations made by the Reading Foundation. "This value has been stable since 1998," says Simone Ehmig, head of the research and study results department at the foundation in Mainz.

How do I make my child want to read?

“First of all, parents should be good role models themselves and also read. Then it is important that parents convey joy in reading and motivate their children to read in a playful way and without being forced to read. It starts with the children having to like the stories and reflect their interests. The interaction of different media - books, interactive apps, e-books and audio books - brings fun and variety to everyday reading, ”explains Esther Dopheide from the Reading Foundation.

A variety of books on offer can arouse interest in reading. It doesn't have to be expensive either. Many cities have libraries with children's books or bookstores that regularly offer special readings for children.

Info kids consumer analysis

How should books be designed to appeal to elementary school students?

“Children who are just learning to read shouldn't be put off by long and complex texts. That is why appealing illustrations and a high proportion of images are very important for younger readers, ”says Esther Dopheide.

The trend is, for example, comic book covers that have been in books for older children for a long time, e.g. "Greg's Diary".

“When children are old enough to read independently, they will notice how their understanding of language changes. Language is then no longer just a string of words, but an art with a very special sound. Word games and metaphors show how eloquent, pointed and profound language can be. Last but not least, they will recognize that languages ​​are a door opener into the world: they not only enable us to read from other people, but also to communicate directly with them, ”says Dr. Stefan Müller.

How should books be designed to appeal to teenagers?

Esther Dopheide: “Teenagers want to clearly differentiate themselves from children. Therefore the book cannot be too artificial; best of all, the heroes are more likely to be older than they are. Popular with teenagers are the so-called 'all age' books, which are not specifically labeled as books for young people and which also appeal to adults. The design is also important and should be linked to the media preferences of the young people - photos or illustrations with manga references are in demand, for example. "

What can I do if I have the feeling that my child is only buried in books and has no other hobbies?

“That seldom happens. Most of the time, the opposite is the case during puberty and there is a so-called 'reading kink', ”says Esther Dopheide.

A book ban is not a good solution! Should parents still have the feeling that their child is closing up and only lives in a world of books, Esther Dopheide advises more communicative exchange about what has been read in order to stay in contact with the child.
Reading groups, which are available in many schools and libraries, or via social networks, are a good way of connecting the written and spoken word.

Book tips from Dr. Stefan Müller

  • tiptoi books by Ravensburger

    These great multifunctional books invite you to take part in various activities: you can have passages of text read out to you by the grown-ups or read them yourself, and the integrated computer chips allow you to explain things to yourself and play sounds. This can be an adventure even for adults! Or do you know what an oboe sounds like or what noise a snail makes?

  • Erich Kästner: Emil and the detectives

    Emil is traveling to the capital Berlin for the first time and is "relieved" by 100 marks on the train. Can he track down the perpetrator with the help of his new friends and get the money back? Erich Kästner breathed new life into the genre of children's books because suddenly they were no longer just supposed to be taught, but the children themselves became clever actors in the action. An adventure made by children for children (and adults).

  • Max von der Grün: suburban crocodiles

    Getting accepted into a circle of friends is sometimes very difficult. If you then sit in a wheelchair, it becomes very complicated. Or not? Max von der Grüns characters show that there is another way. "Vorstadtkrokodile" is a timeless plea for openly approaching your fellow human beings and for people with disabilities as they are.

  • Wolfgang Herrndorf: Tschick

    Two young people, a “borrowed” car and a trip across Germany. It is obvious that this will lead to complications. You should definitely read how amusing Wolfgang Herrndorf describes the journey of the two very different friends. “Tschick” has long been a modern classic.

  • John Green: First love [after 19 unsuccessful attempts]

    The American John Green hits the nerve of the times and the nerve of his young readers with his books (including “Fate is a lousy traitor” and “One like Alaska”). He's still young enough to be passed as "one of them". And what is he writing about? Love, lovesickness and parting - all topics that are ageless. No wonder, then, that not only young people but also adults use his novels.