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.