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Teen Read Week Survey



The following notes are based on a survey of teenage reading habits in the USA. The survey was conducted by Smartgirl.com and the American Library Association in 1999. Your task is to discuss these results in a magazine article. Before doing this, you should first complete the worksheet Discussing the Results of a Survey.

For further practice in writing about graphs/statistics, there is a very useful exercise at the selfaccess.com site.

Background

  • In Fall of 1999, SmartGirl.com conducted an online survey of teens about their reading interests, habits, and attitudes.

Survey Demographics

  • Data collected from October 2 through October 25, 1999.
  • Respondents were 3,072 US girls and boys, aged 11-18.
  • The respondents included 1826 girls and 1246 boys.

Findings
  • 72% say they like to read for pleasure when they have time (and, of that group, 36% say they "read constantly for their own personal satisfaction").
  • 66% read magazines
  • 59% read newspapers
  • 48% read the backs of cereal boxes or other packages
  • Over 60% said they are regularly encouraged to read
  • 80% were read aloud to as children, either "sometimes" or "all of the time."
    47% said that time constraints kept them from reading more for pleasure
  • 29% (mainly boys) said they thought of reading as "boring" or "hard"
  • 59% of boys said they were more likely to read for study purposes than just for pleasure
  • 78% of girls said they were more likely to read for pleasure than for study
  • Favorite books read this year:
    • Classics likeTo Kill a Mockingbird, The Outsiders and The Catcher in the Rye
    • Bestsellers like the Stephen King books
    • Young Adult novels likeThe Giver by Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia; and the Harry Potter series.

  • Favourite genres:
    • 37% Mysteries
    • 22% Adventure
    • 30% Horror
    • 11% True Stories

 

  • 11% of boys said "I basically donít read books much at all."
  • 4% of girls said "I basically donít read books much at all."
  • 31% of girls read all the time
  • 18% of boys read all the time
  • 81% of girls would most likely read more if they had the time
  • 62% of boys would most likely read more if they had the time
  • 77% of girls read fashion and beauty magazines
  • 47% of boys read magazines about video games
  • 7% of girls read magazines about video games
  • 24% of boys read computer manuals or other electronic equipment manuals
  • 10% of girls read computer manuals or other electronic equipment manuals
  • 36% of girls talk about their reading with their friends
  • 24% of boys talk about their reading with their friends


SmartGirl asked: Do you enjoy reading? Why or why not? (SAMPLE QUOTES)

"I love it. It gives you a chance to learn, explore, and experience things you never could without it."
--boy, 15, Muldraugh, Kentucky

"No, because it's hard and I am not very good at it."
--boy, 12, Minneapolis, MN

Yes...I enjoy reading. It is a way for me to relax, to know what is going on, and to use my imagination. I really enjoy reading books that take me into another world... that really make me feel involved. I guess I just appreciate a good story."
--boy, 18, Crofton, MD

"I love reading. It can put you into any situation, time or place. Literature has absolutely no limits."
--girl, 15, Macon, GA

"No, because most of the time I can never find the right book."
--boy, 13, Clayton, CA

"OF COURSE!!!! It broadens your horizons!!! It makes you someone else! You can escape your problems by reading! You can have a boyfriend, be beautiful, talented, smart -- anything you want when you read!! DUH!!!"
--girl, 12, Santa Barbara, CA

 

Frankie Meehan