Reading for fun has academic benefits for students, according to a recent study. The study found that students in elementary school often read for fun, but that changes in high school -- and that love of reading appears to decline. The study found significant differences between students who read for pleasure outside of class—immersing themselves in fantasy novels or spy thrillers, for example—and those who primarily read books to satisfy school assignments. Not only was there a powerful link between reading for fun and stronger language skills, but students who disliked reading frequently attributed their negative outlook to experiences they had in classrooms. Too much emphasis on analyzing the compositional nuts and bolts of texts and reading merely to absorb information came at a psychological cost, the researchers found, as students disengaged from voluntary reading.
Martin-Chang, S., Kozak, S., Levesque, K.C. et al. What’s your pleasure? exploring the predictors of leisure reading for fiction and nonfiction. Reading & Writing (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-020-10112-7