Survey Finds that Canadian Parents Expect their Children Will Read an Average of Almost 40 Books this Summer

An Ipsos survey commissioned by Indigo finds 1 in 3 Canadian parents believe their kids will read more this summer than during the school year.

Indigo summer reading for kids

TORONTO/CNW/ – According to an Ipsos survey commissioned by Indigo (TSX: IDG), the world’s first cultural department store for booklovers, Canadian parents are hopeful about their children’s summer reading habits with parents expecting that their children will read just under 40 books in the summer months. Children are reported to be more likely to read more books over the summer if they are already enthusiastic readers, if they were read aloud to at an early age, and if the child already read often during the school year. 

“There’s nothing like the true joy of being lost in a great story,” said Heather Reisman, Indigo CEO and Chief Booklover. “This summer we hope all kids, both big and little, will unplug and lose themselves in a great book – the rewards are enormous.”

The survey, conducted with Ipsos, reviewed 630 Canadian parents about their children’s reading habits, and found that most Canadian children are readers. 27% Canadian children are considered to be enthusiastic readers, and enthusiasm tends to be higher when parents start reading to their children before the age of 1. Only 6% of Canadian children are considered by their parents to be ‘reluctant’ readers, though this increases to 28% when including ‘hesitant’ readers.  Children tend to read more as their skills increase and they develop new interests and are found to read less when distractions intervene. Electronics are the biggest barrier with 40% of parents citing them as a barrier, which increases to 49% when referring to a child who is age 9-13.

Canadian parents report their children read an average of 52 books per year and spend an average of 4.5 hours per week reading. This varies widely with age – according to the survey, parents report 2-5-year-old children consume 79 books per year, which includes reading the same book multiple times and reading aloud with the child.  Children 6-8 years old reportedly read 74 books per year, which drops to 29 books per year for kids age 9 to 13. However, those who are read aloud to at an early age are more likely to read more books in later years.  As well, the more a parent reads, the more books their child will also read.

The decrease in the number of the books read is possibly because as children grow and develop reading skills, they start reading longer books and therefore, fewer in a year. Though time spent reading increases with age, reading for pleasure decreases as school reading increases.

Half of the parents surveyed say their children’s extra-curricular reading has increased and will increase in the coming year; and one in three Canadian parents believe their child will read more this summer than during the school year.  One-third of Canadian parents are concerned about a loss of reading skills over the summer, with as many as one in ten feeling extremely concerned about this. The main concern lies with the frustration kids may feel when the school year starts if reading skills decrease.  For those who are not concerned, the primary reason is the belief that a child will continue reading throughout the summer.  Those who started reading to their children before they were twelve months old are among the most likely to expect no change in their child’s reading behaviour whereas those with children who read at least 7 hours per week expect their child to read even more than they did during the school year, over summer holidays.

Looking for ways to get children more interested in reading? Check out these tips from Canadian parents:

  • Start reading to children early.
  • Make it part of their routine.
  • Keep reading aloud to them, even once they have developed their own reading skills.
  • Make it fun! Create character voices or take turns reading.
  • Find what interests them and read books around those subjects.
  • Lead by example.
  • Take a time-out from electronics and replace that with a book.
  • Talk about reading and books as a family.
  • Find a fun place to read.

For more tips and expert book recommendations for all the ages and stages of children’s reading development, visit Raising a Reader at

About the Study:  These are findings from an online Ipsos survey conducted from May 21st- 29th, 2019. Respondents in the survey were selected to reflect the population of Canadian households with children under 14.  Each parent was asked about the reading habits of one of their children.

About Indigo

Indigo Books & Music Inc. is a publicly traded Canadian company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (IDG). Indigo is the world’s first Cultural Department Store – a physical and digital meeting place inspired by and filled with books, music, art, ideas, and beautifully designed lifestyle products. Indigo believes in real books, in living life fully and generously, in being kind to each other and that stories – big and little – connect us.

SOURCE Indigo Books & Music Inc.