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Kids living in houses without books?

(154 Posts)
ButterfliesAreWeird Wed 13-Dec-17 20:31:55

My son just received another of those books we get given by the government (funded by them atleast). My Mother said that they started this scheme because around 1 in 4 children were starting school without a single book in their household. Is this right? That sounds like a lot, but then again it would need to be for them to start handing out books I guess.

BrieAndChilli Wed 13-Dec-17 20:37:38

We must have everyone’s allocation here. We’ve got 100s and 100s of books. A couple of years ago DS1 for 52 books for his birthday and xmas. (He’s a complete book worm)

Toomanycats99 Wed 13-Dec-17 20:39:36

Same here. My daughter has two of the tall narrow billy bookcases full - with double layers on some shelves. Other daughter just has the one bookcase!

OddBoots Wed 13-Dec-17 20:41:31

I work in a place where we give out the Bookstart books and we have had one family hand them back because they "have phones so don't need books." That was only one family and we did manage to persuade them to take them (I'm not sure if they kept them).

I think there are families where no adult reads books for pleasure so maybe it doesn't occur to them to get books for their children. I can't see that it could be anything like 1 in 4 though.

B0033 Wed 13-Dec-17 20:41:58

I'm sure it must be the case or there wouldn't be finding for it. I can't imagine it, though. We have books crammed everywhere throughout the house. DC always get books for Christmas and we like to pick up books at the charity shops all the time.

SockEatingMonster Wed 13-Dec-17 20:43:51

I've heard the 1 in 4 statistic used for America, but not seen any evidence to prove or disprove it.

Having spent around 16 years working for non-profit and charitable organisations, I must admit that I'm a little suspicious. I also wonder if it makes any allowance for regular library users. However, I'm sure it's true that many, many children were starting school with no history of being read to at home and no access to suitable books.

Ca55andraMortmain Wed 13-Dec-17 20:44:25

In my first year of teaching I encouraged my class to talk about what they were reading at home and bring in a book to share with the class. I was astounded by how many of them didn't have a book at home.

LunasSpectreSpecs Wed 13-Dec-17 20:48:01

SIL and BIL don't have books in the house. I don't think I've ever seen either of them ever reading anything. Ever. Their children have grown up now and they did have books for them when they were young, but reading wasn't encouraged and neither of them read now.

Bubblebubblepop Wed 13-Dec-17 20:49:00


BamburyFuriou3 Wed 13-Dec-17 20:49:36

I was very surprised when I started going round to play dates with other school run mums. Most surprising were the dual professional couples - with no books anywhere to be seen downstairs, and maybe about 5 hidden upstairs in the child's bedroom!
We have about 8 wide tall Billy bookcases double and triple stacked. (I used to have a bit of a serious book habit) and we go to the library every week as well - so we are probably the other Extreme! Mind you I never actually get time to read my own books anymore sad but the kids get read to plenty at least a couple of books a day each.

MyBrilliantDisguise Wed 13-Dec-17 20:51:16

You know those free boxes with clothes etc for new babies? I'd like books to be in there.

MsAnnThropic Wed 13-Dec-17 20:54:08

I'm an HCP in quite a deprived area, and lots of the children i see have no books at home. I once asked a Mum if her little boy likes books and she told me he quite likes the Argos book.

Whenever my own kids grow out of books I take them to give to the families I work with.

OlennasWimple Wed 13-Dec-17 20:54:12

I'd believe it.

CannotEvenThink Wed 13-Dec-17 20:57:09

I have been in a lot of houses of young families in a professional capacity in deprived areas where they have the book start scheme. I Can easily believe the 1 in 4 statistic.

BishopstonFaffing Wed 13-Dec-17 20:58:03

I did part of my degree on this 15 years ago. There were children who not only had no books in the house but had no reading or writing materials at all. None. No recipe books, magazines, newspapers etc

BrieAndChilli Wed 13-Dec-17 20:58:47

We have books from when me and DH were kids. We have loads of books although a couple of eRs ago did get rid of shelves worth of adult novels (the type you read once or twice but not again) but still have a double stack really wide floor to ceiling shelf in the study of adult books plus 2 up stairs of kids books plus a few piles in the kids rooms.
Oh and I have a big shelf in the kitchen of cookbooks.

When DS2 was about 2 he could read the Tiger who came to tea from memory (he couldn’t read) as we’d read it so many time coz he loved it so much.

BrieAndChilli Wed 13-Dec-17 21:00:25

Oh and the kids have a subscription to The Week Junior and we have a readly magazine subscription.

BrieAndChilli Wed 13-Dec-17 21:01:58

It’s a shame as actually libraries are free so even if you can’t afford to own books you can take some out to read.

My teacher friends say you can tell the kids who are read to at home as they have a much better vocabulary and are able to expand on thier story writing and come up with lots of ideas

Littlebear88 Wed 13-Dec-17 21:02:59

I don't think the number of books you have on display in your home indicate how much you read!?!
My husband and I are avid readers but we have kindles and we pass on and send a lot of books we have read to charity. My son has 3 shelves full of books and I rotate them to a small bookcase every few months.

My HV told me she visits families that have no books in the house 😱

BrieAndChilli Wed 13-Dec-17 21:03:00

Plus books are like 20p in charity shops so cheaper than toys etc.

ginteresting Wed 13-Dec-17 21:05:10

It's dreadfully sad, but In situations where there's little food, clothes and heat, books are low on priorities. There are also situations where more privileged children are given lots but not read to. It's a great scheme, I wish it was better funded to give books that children really enjoy, or a donation project of giving really great children's books in schools and nursery's. My daughter was given a sheet on 100 books to read in year 1, she has loads of them already. I would happily give them in on a swap style basis with her class.

Twofishfingers Wed 13-Dec-17 21:07:03

I can't find recent data but seems to be 3 in 10 children (don't know how old though, doesn't make a difference between baby/toddler/child/teenagers). I would believe it though, I think we live in our own bubble sometimes with loads of goods, books, food, craft material. I am absolutely convinced that loads of families don't have books at home. It's probably much worst in some areas than others - very poor areas, inner London maybe but I am making assumptions here.

It's easy to assume that everyone sees value in reading to young children.

RestingGrinchFace Wed 13-Dec-17 21:07:20

I went to a state school in a very working class area when I first started school. Some of my school mates indeed didn't have books, one even called my mother weird for reading at home. It was a long time ago but I wouldn't be surprised if that was still the case, especially considering the advent of iPads/smart phones.

stargirl1701 Wed 13-Dec-17 21:10:00

Plenty of books are given out. Bookbug bags at 8 weeks, 12 months, 3 years and 5 years. That's 12. Then the Play Talk Read packs available 0-5 years. Then the Read Write Count bags at Primary 2/3. The free Bookbug monthly competition to win books. The books in the Baby Box at 36 weeks pg. The free UNICEF book that is still available to be claimed for free. Bookbug often gives a book at events in Bookbug week too.

Looked after Children get more books on top of that. Dolly Parton also gives books to children in this category.

The Scottish Govt spends a fortune on giving books to children. I have 2 DC and we have been given at least 20 free books since having them.

There is also the library. My local council allows 12 books per child. They run Bookbug sessions weekly so you can have a chance to change books. There have been no library closures in my area but the libraries all shut half day on a Sat and all day Mon to cut costs.

The books are there. Some parents just do not see the value in reading to their child.

Coloursthatweremyjoy Wed 13-Dec-17 21:12:57

My husband and i are both avid readers. There are no books downstairs, save cookbooks. The boys have a bookcase, rammed in one bedroom and you might find books under their beds. Perhaps the health visitor thought we didn't have any in the house. But she was full of useless thoughts anyway.

My DH reads a lot but rarely keeps a book, he passes them on or charity shops them. Not seeing books in a person's home doesn't mean they don't read.

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