Motivating and sustaining reading for pleasure

The benefits of reading for pleasure extend beyond positive educational outcomes, as reading for pleasure is associated with improved wellbeing, greater empathy and improved relationships. In Scotland, there is a strong culture of promoting reading for pleasure in primary schools. In the videos below, we share insights into this topic from the Scottish Book Trust, National Literacy Trust and UK researchers.

“Conversations about language and literacy: Motivating and sustaining reading for pleasure”
Sarah McGeown, University of Edinburgh

“Scottish Book Trust: Supporting Reading for Pleasure”
Marc Lambert, CEO, Scottish Book Trust
Marc graduated from Edinburgh University in 1986 with an MA Hons degree in History. He has worked for Waterstone and Co. as a main fiction buyer, and for Penguin Books in Italy and the UK as a salesman. After four years of writing about and interpreting contemporary art at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, he joined The Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2000, becoming Assistant Director. In 2002 he was appointed CEO of Scottish Book Trust. Since then he has grown the Trust from a small organisation of three people into a national agency with 50+ staff which delivers a number of national programmes to support literacy, education, and a love of reading and writing.

“No-one would sleep if we didn’t have books”; Understanding the Barriers and Motivators to Shared Reading in Families,
Rachael Levy, University of Sheffield
Following her doctoral research into young children’s perceptions of reading, and the publication of her book Young Children Reading at Home and at School, Rachael has been researching shared reading practices in the home. This has been part of a collaborative three-year project funded by the ESRC. Rachael is also interested in gender and literacy and has published in this area. She is overall Course Director for the Sheffield EdD programme and is Named Route Director for the EdD Early Childhood Education. She has taken a number of doctoral students through to successful completion who have been conducting research into topics such as reading, literacy and early childhood education.

Gender and literacy from a socio-cultural perspective: Building interdisciplinary knowledge about reading for pleasure”
Gemma Moss, UCL
Gemma is an experienced literacy researcher with long-standing interests in ethnography and mixed methods research designs. Her main interests are in: contemporary literacy policy; the dialogue between research and practice; the social organization of the literacy curriculum; the politics of assessment; and gender and literacy attainment. She has successfully directed a range of research projects including several studies funded by the ESRC. She is Past President of the British Educational Research Association, a Council member of the European Educational Research Association and a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the National Literacy Trust.

“What does being a reader mean – focusing on reading enjoyment and behaviour
Anne Teravainen, National Literacy Trust
Anne joined National Literacy Trust in 2015 with a background in applied linguistics. She has since conducted research on various topics around reading for pleasure including exploring the link between reading skills, reading enjoyment and behaviours and how reading for pleasure and positive reading behaviour develop through childhood. Most recently she has played a key part in reframing and reconceptualization of what reading well means as part of the Read On. Get On. campaign.

Reading motivation, engagement and attainment”
Sarah McGeown, University of Edinburgh
Sarah is a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology within the School of Education, University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on developing a better understanding of what motivates children to read, understanding the relationship between reading motivation, engagement and attainment, children’s reading habits and supporting early reading acquisition and development (specifically phonics instruction). Details of her research can be found here: