Dr Margaret Merga, senior lecturer at Curtin University, offers insights into how we can help our young people become life-long avid readers.

Dr Merga’s primary research areas are focussed on encouraging reading from the early years right up to adulthood. She has completed research projects at West Australian, national and international levels looking at how we can increase reading engagement in the youth population, and at older readers and the influencers and factors that have led to them continuing their engagement in reading into adulthood. Unpacking what makes adult readers read can lead to more effective educational strategies for improving reading in younger years.

What have you discovered about the power of influence?

In the International Study of Avid Book Readers (ISABR), we looked at who influenced adult readers and how. We also explored where they preferred to read, their concentration level and whether or not avid readers face the same challenges as non-avid readers in terms of concentration.