The number of parents reading to their children regularly has significantly reduced in the past two years in Britain, according to a new survey.
The survey by the reading initiatives Booktime and Booked Up showed that only a third or 33 per cent of parents of primary school aged children now read to them daily, compared to 43 per cent two years ago.
The poll showed that nearly 23 per cent rarely or never read to their children.
The parents said that they rarely had time to read to their children. Thirty-five per cent said they had too much else to do while 30 per cent said they were too tired to read to them and 25 per cent said they were too busy cooking dinner.
Moreover, the average four to five year old were spending twice as long watching television as he or she does reading with their parents, while the average 11 to 12 year old spends four hours 14 minutes surfing the internet compared to just 41 minutes reading with their parents.
In a bid to combat the plummeting figures more than two million free books are being handed out to schoolchildren across Britain.
Michael Rosen, the Children's Laureate, recently said more must be done to convince children that reading was enjoyable.
He also attacked the "tests and targets" culture of the classroom.
"The Government is making a big mistake by not saying reading for pleasure is as important as learning to read," Telegraph quoted him, as saying.