|Young readers and e-readers: Study|
|Written by Anne Collier|
|January 23, 2013|
Despite their love for digital technology, 80% of kids and teens who use ebooks "still read primarily print books for fun," a new Scholastic survey of readers aged 6-17 has found. But we are seeing a shift in the way kids read: "58% of 9-to-17-year-olds say they will always want to read books printed on paper, even though there are ebooks available," but that's down from 66% in 2010. Digital books (e.g., what's read on a tablet, cellphone or laptop) may be a motivating factor, the study found, especially for boys, "who are more commonly known to be reluctant readers, to read more," as well as for increasing all young people's reading frequency.
Other highlighted findings of the 4th-annual "Kids & Family Reading Report" included:
* Ebooks' power: The percentage of young people "who have read an ebook has almost doubled since 2010" (25% to 46%). Half of 9-to-17-year-olds say they'd "read more books for fun if they had greater access to ebooks – a 50% increase since 2010"; and "57% of moderately frequent readers (kids who read 1-4 days/week) who have not read an ebook agree they would read more if they had greater access to ebooks.
Finally, here's an enduring finding that isn't at all about technology: "Consistent with the 2010 Kids & Family Reading Report, nine in ten kids say they are more likely to finish a book they choose themselves." That's about agency, the capacity to act on one's own, one of the three motivating factors I wrote about here. Agency, competency, and relevance are what motivates people to learn and participate in and out of media.
Fresh research from Pew on print vs. digital
And while we're on the subject of reading, the Pew Internet Project just released a study finding that "patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more, but many still want printed books to hold their central place." As for the numbers, Pew found that "80% of Americans say borrowing books is a 'very important' service libraries provide"; "80% say reference librarians are a 'very important' service of libraries [probably more important than ever in the midst of today information tsunami]; and, as for technology, "77% say free access to computers and the internet is a 'very important' service of libraries." Libraries fill in all kinds of gaps: context and perspective, quiet time, gaps in media literacy, and access for those who don't have it at home.