Reading is most important life skill, poll finds

A new poll has revealed that two thirds (74 per cent) of people believe that reading is the most important life skill a child can learn.

The survey of 2,000 people by Cartridgesave ranked learning to read as more important than learning basic maths (52 per cent), how to manage finances (43 per cent), playing sport (nine per cent), and using electrical devices (seven per cent).

However, recent figures from the National Literacy Trust reveal that one in 11 children in the UK have never owned a book.

This has led online cartridge retailer, to launch a ‘Gift of Books’ campaign. The aim of the campaign is to reduce book poverty amongst 40,000 schoolchildren in Manchester with the help of local residents. For information on the campaign, see

Cartridgesave’s research also suggests that learning how to read the printed word has a major impact on developing other abilities which are pivotal to success in later life with, 83 per cent saying it had a positive impact on communication and writing skills.

Two in three (65 per cent) of those surveyed also stated that reading has allowed them to develop presentation skills, as well as be creative (59 per cent) and build relationships (56 per cent).

Ian Cowley, managing director of added: “Developing reading skills as early as possible is vital. Even in this age of emojis and Alexa, mastering the written word gives you a foundation to ensure you are equipped to tackle life.

“That is why it’s just wrong that there are still so many children living without books. We wanted to do something to change that in an area where book poverty is seriously impacting on people’s lives.

“The campaign has already seen thousands of books donated by schoolchildren from their own shelves, they are then encouraged to print out a note slip to say why they enjoyed the book so much. These are then redistributed by the National Literacy Trust to the areas of greatest need”

Read more