Tim Bichara

Rise of the EBook among Children

Studies show that the number of children using eBooks has almost doubled in the last two years. It seems that the eBook revolution is underway in more ways than one.

Not only have eBooks replaced normal paper texts for reading, but in a national reading report, children say they would read more if they had more access to digital publications – so not all bad.

Study Shows Growth
The Kids and Family Reading Report is a bi-annual study by Scholastic, a publishing and education company. The report suggests that eBooks are changing the way children consume books and the transition is an exciting one. EBooks look like they may move reading from a required activity that is often seen as a bit of a chore, into it being something that children want to do by choice. The study wasn’t just of book worms either. It studied moderately frequent readers; these are children who read 1-4 times a week.

The study also showcased the effect eBooks had on boys reading levels – boys are renowned to be tough to motivate to read. The study showed that one in four said they are now reading more often and also enjoying the experience a lot more. In fact, over half of all the children surveyed aged 9-17 said they would be more inclined to read if they had access to digital publications via an eBook. This is a 50% increase on the answer to the same question given when it was asked in a previous survey. This would suggest the integration of the eBook into society.
Rise of the EBooks

One of the reasons for the increased popularity of the eBook is the doubling in reach of the devices. The previous survey in 2010 showed 26% had access compared to 46% this time round. However, the survey also showed some negative trends, with a leap to 49% from 36% in the number of parents who don’t feel their children read enough. However, 72% of parents are eager to give their children eBooks according to the survey. This is likely to rise in time too as there seems to be an increasing interest in the eBook devices among adults and children alike.

The survey also showed concerns by parents over the amount of time their children were spending with technology. However, almost half of all parents do not show a preference in the format their child reads an eBook in, with many merely wanting to encourage their children to read more.

So, it seems that the next thing we may see is a rise in the number of child orientated eBooks and tablets, as well as further drops in price.


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