Swedish students read less and their capacity to read has therefore decreased. Sad news, but here’s part of the problem: Many of their teachers rarely read fiction themselves. One out of eight Swedish teachers under the age of 40 has not read a novel during the past year. Less than half read more than six novels a year—that is more than one book every other month. This according to a questionnaire that Skop sent out on behalf of the paper Lärarnas tidning.

“It’s a catastrophe, this result,” says Gunilla Molloy, senior lecturer in Swedish at Stockholm University. Molloy says that in her line of work she meets aspiring teachers who have problems listing any novels they’d like to use in their teaching. “As a consequence, their writing deteriorates.”


Why should we read fiction? Sture Allén, linguistic researcher and member of the Swedish Academy has this to say: “(We should read fiction) because fictions is about us—about you, and me, about us all. Who are we, what do we do, what have we done and—sometimes—what will we do? And the authorships are so very varied, it shows the richness in life.” If you’re curious about what Swedes read, check this out: http://www.nordstjernan.com/news/sweden/5136/