Dickens, Potter books must read for kids, say parents

The survey by the University of Worcester questioned 2,000 adults and found that one in five parents wanted their children to experience the Victorian Christmas tale more than any other fictional novel, the Telegraph reported.

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling was a close second, followed by The Lord of The Rings triology by JRR Tolkien in third place.

Others in the list were 'Pride and Prejudice', by Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell.

Dickens another book 'Oliver Twist' was placed eighth in the list.

'The Hobbit' by JRR Tolkien is ninth in the list, and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee is the tenth must-read.

"The books that feature in the top 10 all provide thought-provoking content and characters, so it is clear that parents value these books for providing challenging thoughts which can last a lifetime," Anne Hannaford, Director of Information and Learning Services at the University, said.

The poll also revealed 'Alice in Wonderland' is today's most-read book, with 41 per cent of adults having read it.

More than one third have read CS Lewis' 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe', which was followed closely by Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in The Willows' and Roald Dahl's 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' with 37 per cent and 36 per cent of adults having read these books.

The survey also revealed that one in five 18 - 24 year olds would pretend to have read a book to impress someone.

54 per cent of adults said they missed reading, with 30 per cent admitting they have not read a book in ages.