There is a story or poem to raise a goose bump on the toughest skin,
and we are well advised to help each child find it.
A child who has never thrilled to words
will remain indifferent to reading and writing them.
— Glenna Davis Sloan
The Child as Critic: Developing Literacy through Literature, K-8
Research shows that leisure reading enhances students’ reading comprehension, vocabulary development, general knowledge, and empathy for others, as well as their self-confidence as readers, motivation to read throughout their lives, and positive attitudes toward reading. The benefits of leisure reading apply to English learners (ELs) who read in English as well as in their native languages. Because interesting texts provide comprehensible input as well as practice with reading, leisure reading offers many benefits for ELs.
Given the ample evidence showing the benefits of leisure reading, the International Reading Association (IRA), the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) take this position on leisure reading.