No TV or computer games, 9-year-old British girl reads 364 books in 7 months

LONDON - Instead of spending endless hours watching TV or playing computer games, Faith Jackson chooses to read.

And she has read 364 books in just seven months. That's almost two books a day.

Jackson, 9, prefers a daily intake of Secret Seven and Famous Five to British TV's Four O'Clock Club and Bear Behaving Badly.

The youngster has been hailed a real-life 'Matilda' after the book-loving Crunchem Hall schoolgirl created by author Roald Dahl, Daily Mail reported.

For her love for reading, Jackson has been rewarded with a certificate of achievement from award-winning author Cressida Cowell who penned That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown and How to Train Your Dragon.

According to Daily Mail, unlike Jackson, young people today spend more time during their childhood watching TV than they spend at school.

Scientists say by the age of seven, a child will have spent a full year glued to screens, with the average 10-year-old having five television sets readily available to watch at home.

Jackson initially found books a struggle but fell in love with reading when she was seven after being encouraged to read more by her family and teachers.

She started with short stories which were moderately easy to read but now, only two years on, takes on more challenging Enid Blyton books and novels penned by Cowell - which can run to 400 pages.

Jackson's mother Lauren, 35, a housewife from Ashley, Cheshire, said: "Faith says reading is just as stimulating as TV or computer games, more so even, as you have to use your own imagination rather than letting the screen conjure it all up for you.

"I don't think it's particularly bad, or inherently wrong, for children to be sat in front of the television, or playing on computers - but I do think it's a shame that for many children these forms of entertainment have entirely taken the place of reading," she was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

"Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with watching television, and films - but only as long as you keep a pretty close eye on the subject matter of what your children are viewing," she added.

"But I always take the time out to help Faith by listening to her read. I think more parents should share a bedtime story with their children in the hopes that they will develop a passion for reading as much as my daughter has."

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