There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book. —Frank Serafini
General Statistics about Reading
1. 46% of American adults cannot understand the label on their prescription medicine (Journal of American Medical Association).
2. Students who reported having all four types of reading materials (books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias) in their home scored, on average, higher than those who reporter having fewer reading materials (The Nation's Report Card).
3. 50 percent of American adults are unable to read an eighth grade level book (Literacy Project Foundation).
4. According to the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 37 percent of fourth graders and 26 percent of eighth graders cannot read at the basic level; and on the 2002 NAEP 26 percent of twelfth graders cannot read at the basic level. That is, when reading grade-appropriate text these students cannot extract the general meaning or make obvious connections between the text and their own experiences or make simple inferences from the text. In other words, they cannot understand what they have read (NAEP).
5. Not specifically about reading, but related: High school dropouts are 63 (!) times more likely to be incarcerated than college graduates (The Consequences of Dropping out of High School, Northwestern University).
6. Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding (1988) found that the best way to improve reading skills is for students to spend more time reading. Reading for just 15 minutes per day exposes a person to more than one million words per year: