The following piece was published in The Author, the journal of the Society of Authors, in the Summer 2019 issue. Our thanks to all concerned at SoA for permission to reproduce it on Autumn Voices. The article is about parents reading to their children, but much of it applies to grandparents, too.

We commend the detailed research by publisher Egmont, which supports what many SoA members have long thought: reading for pleasure brings significant benefits, and one of the best ways to encourage reading for pleasure is parents reading aloud to their children.
‘When children are read to they enjoy the same benefits as reading independently and much more besides. When reading to a child the implicit message is “You matter enough for me to give you my time.” .... A reading routine like “bath book bed” creates quality time together in hectic family schedules. Having this time reinforces family ties, creating moments of intimacy, of parent-child bonding, and is an expression of maternal/paternal love. Reading to children has a positive impact on their well-being and mental health. It builds their imagination and empathy, expands their vocabulary and communication skills. Parents feel positive about their parenting and the shared experience becomes part of family life.’
Reading for Pleasure can be found at It is interesting to note also, that US research suggests that reading to children from a ‘real’ book is noticeably better than reading from an ebook.