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The present study aims at investigating the effect of gender on the reading habits, reading preferences and attitudes towards reading among the school students. Survey research with a well-structured questionnaire was employed by the researchers. Five matriculation schools of Madurai City, Tamil Nadu State, India are the unit of study. The secondary and higher secondary students form the sample of the study. Out of 250 questionnaires distributed, 200 duly filled questionnaires were received back. The study reveals that : More boys than girls prefer non-fiction, prefer science fiction, crime and fantasy stories, prefer biographies and autobiographies and essays, spend 1-2 hours per week on reading, prefer Tamil language materials to read, read to pass time and get a job, prefer lips reading, decide to read a book based on table of contents, depend on school library, prefer to read in the early morning, spend 5-10 minutes to read newspaper every day, read GK magazines, visit the library daily, visit the library to borrow books and read newspapers, prefer to visit the library during lunch breaks and read e-magazines. More girls than boys prefer horror stories, motivational books, spend 3-4 hours per week on reading, read to improve knowledge and relax, decide to read a book based on authors, depend on own collection, prefer to read before bed hours, read comics, visit the library once in a week, visit the library to read books, prefer to visit the library during library hours and read e-newspapers. Both boys and girls prefer both fiction and non-fiction, prefer to read English language materials, prefer silent reading, prefer to read at home, prefer Tamil newspapers, prefer to read newspapers in the morning, look for local news and entertainment news in the newspaper, prefer Dinamalar newspaper, prefer Tamil magazines, read subject magazines, prefer to use laptops and desktops, spend less than one hour, read e-books, use search engines to access required e-materials, e-read for time pass, prefer PDF files. Thus, there are instances where gender influences and there are few instances where gender does not influence the reading habits and preferences of the school students.



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