Importance of eBooks: Research demonstrates they motivate kids to read

March 8, 2013 11 Comments »

Research about kids and eBooks

This year it seems like many of my daughter’s third grade classmates were including eReaders as holiday wish list items. One mom posted to her Facebook wall about how her voracious reader wanted a Kindle for instant gratification of being able to download a new book immediately upon finishing one.

In the past two years the selection of eReaders has increased and more devices are available at varying price points. At the same time, more eBooks are available than ever before. Besides being read by families on eReaders and as apps on tablets and smartphones, they’re more commonly used in schools.

While it may not be surprising that new research published in the fourth edition of the Kids & Family Reading Report indicates that the percent of children who have read an eBook has almost doubled since 2010 (25% vs 46%), what is shocking is that half of children ages 9-17 say they would read more books for fun if they had greater access to eBooks. 49% of parents surveyed felt that their children don’t spend enough time reading books for fun, a figure that increased from 36% in 2010.

Published by Scholastic biannually, the Kids & Family Reading Report is a national survey that uses responses from kids ages 6-17 and their parents to assess views on reading in the digital landscape. The survey also gauges the influences that impact kids’ reading frequency and attitudes toward reading.

The study found that the interactive nature of eBooks are often a great way to motivate reluctant readers but statistics demonstrated that they also have the potential to motivate boys to read more. One in four boys who have read eBooks said he now reads more books for fun.

eBooks may also help transition moderately frequent readers (kids who read one to four days a week) into more frequent readers, five to seven days a week. 57% of moderately frequent readers who haven’t read an eBook believe they would read more if they had more access to books in e-formats.

Some great sources of eBooks include:

  • Scholastic’s Storia— Perfect for families with readers of different ages because Storia allows parents to create bookshelves with age appropriate reading material. With a wealth of eBooks, Storia ensures that content will be just right for each reader in your house and features many of Scholastic’s most popular titles.
  • Ruckus Reader— This innovative learning program for the iPad that features digital fiction and nonfiction books that provide parents with personalized feedback on their child’s reading experience. Video components accompany nonfiction text to provide visual explanations of the things that kids are reading about.
  • Interactive eBooks apps from publishers such as Auryn and PicPocket Books that provide affordable titles for all ages with gorgeous illustration, interactive pages, text that is highlighted as it is read, and titles in foreign languages.

No compensation was received for this post. Images courtesy of Scholastic and Amazon Kindle. Amazon Affiliate links included in this post.

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  1. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles March 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm -


  2. Lolli @ Better in Bulk March 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm -

    This is an awesome report! Some of my kids love reading on devices…others still prefer reading good old paperbacks. But I love having so many books available to my kids wherever we are.

    • Leticia March 8, 2013 at 12:25 pm -

      Hi Lolli! I’m so glad you find the report useful! We’re the exact same way! There are times that my kids want to read on their digital devices but others when they want to pick up a favorite picture book or a chapter book and snuggle on the couch to read it independently or together. I think having lots of books available in different formats is KEY! Have a great weekend!

  3. Rajean March 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm -

    I’ll do whatever I can as a parent to encourage the love of reading. Thankfully, two of my four are book lovers and my youngest is just learning to read, we’ll see how he does. I think I’ll buy my 22 yo girl an eReader, she’s my math whiz and claims to not love reading. We’ll see about that!

  4. Kerri March 8, 2013 at 5:00 pm -

    This explains so much. My son didn’t like to read for fun until he started reading on my kindle. We ended up buying his own because I found that he would read for fun and for much longer. We have also noticed that this has carried over to regular books now too.

  5. Elizabeth Norton March 8, 2013 at 9:37 pm -

    Looks like this is true in my house. Ebooks are an incentive for good behavior.

  6. Cara March 9, 2013 at 10:43 am -

    My oldest prefers to read on an ereader. I find myself now searching for picture books for the youngest to read on our devices. She loves books but we are running our of bookshelf room.

  7. Melissa chapman March 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm -

    This is good news to hear as my kids are attached at the hip to their paid and now I won’t feel so guilty! Especially knowing that reading books is a great way to marry their love of technology and my desire o get them to read more!

  8. Catherine March 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm -

    We haven’t introduced e-reading to our 5 year old yet. I bet she would love Storia.

  9. Shana D March 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm -

    We love Scholastic’s Storia!!! I just got this months ebook. My kids think it’s like a reward getting to read an ebook.

  10. sherry March 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm -

    I am thinking my son needs an ebook reader. thanks for the info.