Philip Pullman in The Daily Mirror
The sort of reading that really takes place here – the sort that really makes a reader out of us – is reading for pleasure, which government after government has paid lip service to while working to prevent it.
The benefits of reading for pleasure include improvement in writing, in text comprehension, in grammar and in breadth of vocabulary. It develops a positive attitude to reading, which in turn leads to higher achievement. It increases general knowledge, encourages a better understanding of other cultures as well as providing a greater insight into human nature.
Not reading for the sake of passing a test, but reading for pleasure, is what does that.
* Philip Pullman is the author of the His Dark Materials trilogy and The Good Man Jesus And The Scoundrel Christ.