The National Literacy Trust has just released a report that reveals that the number of children who do not own a book of their own has risen.
We all know how important reading is. It plays an important part in language development in young children and in turn this has a knock-on effect with handwriting, and goes on into school and eventually exams.
A child who isn't assisted and encouraged to read will always be working at a disadvantage, compared to their reading peers.
I wasn't able to read properly until I was 7 years old.
I had a slight speech problem and was growing up in a time when there was not as wide a range of books available to young children (unlike now), and reading was a bedtime activity when stories about Noddy, Cinderella and Peter Pan were read to me.
When I was small, the school reading method were the Janet and John books, and I can still remember the wonder I felt when words finally made sense to me and I understood how much a simple sentence could mean- and I could read it.
It also meant I could go and borrow the books in the children's section at my local library, which so many of my classmates had been doing for some time...
I connected to the bigger world by being able to read, and that was the moment when I decided I wanted to be a writer.
Sadly even now there are still adults with literacy difficulties. Hopefully one day that aspect of life will eventually become a thing of the past...
If you are interested in donating to the NLT's Gift of Reading this Christmas, then have a look here.
The writers of the future will need readers; and this scheme will help the readers of the future to be able to enjoy those books.
Perhaps there will even be potential writers among them...