More than half—or 54 percent—of parents also stated that their children ask for ebook versions of the tales that they already own in print form. Researchers believe this data points to children considering the two versions as different ways to connect with the material—rather seeing it as repetitive material.
Amid these issues that are of concern to libraries, one stands out and ties them all together: Cost. Ebooks, unlike print books, can’t be resold by libraries and, in some cases, are more expensive for libraries to purchase than the general public. A good example of how this can put financial strain on a library is the Cuyahoga County Library System’s acquisition of some 300 ebook copies of Fifty Shades of Grey for nearly $24,000 last year. It’s exemplary of an issue libraries across the country are facing.
While young readers find these digital products very appealing, their multitude of features may diffuse children’s attention, interfering with their comprehension of the text, Smith and the Schugars found. It seems that the very “richness” of the multimedia environment that e-books provide—touted as their advantage over printed books—may actually overwhelm kids’ limited working memory, leading them to lose the thread of the narrative or to process the meaning of the story less deeply.
Such unnecessary flourishes can interrupt the fluency of children’s reading and cause their comprehension to fragment, the authors found. They can also lead children to spend less time reading overall: One study cited by Smith and the Schugars reported that children spent 43% of their e-book engagement time playing games embedded in the e-books, rather than reading the text.
They advise parents and teachers to look for e-books that enhance and extend interactions with the text, rather than those that offer only distractions; that promote interactions that are relatively brief rather than time-consuming; that provide supports for making text-based inferences or understanding difficult vocabulary; and that locate interactions on the same page as the text display, rather than on a separate screen.
Once the e-books are selected, parents and teachers must also help children use the e-books effectively … familiarizing children with the basics of the device … Parents and teachers should also assist children in transferring what they know about print reading to e-reading. Kids may not automatically apply reading skills they’ve learned on traditional books to e-books—and these skills, such as identifying the main idea and setting aside unimportant details, are especially crucial when reading e-books, because of the profusion of distractions they provide.
Lastly, adults should ensure that children are not over-using e-book features like the electronic dictionary or the “read to me” option. Young readers can often benefit from looking up the definition of a word with a click, but doing it too often will disrupt reading fluidity and therefore comprehension. Even without accessing the dictionary, children are able to glean the meaning of many words from context. Likewise, the read-to-me feature can be useful in decoding a difficult word, but when used too frequently it discourages kids from sounding out words on their own.
by Booknet Canada
Scholastic released their fourth biannual Kids & Family Reading Report, which focuses on the reading habits of adults and their children in the US. They found that 41% of parents and 46% of children read an ebook in 2012, which is up from 27% and 25% respectively in 2011.
In the UK, research from the National Literacy Trust found that 39% of children and young people read daily on electronic devices, including e-readers and tablets, and that the number of children reading ebooks has doubled in the last two years, from 6% to 12%.
Similarly, Scholastic found that on average, 49% of parents prefer their children to read in print. The figure jumps to 68% for children from 6 to 8 years.
Scholastic found that 1 in 5 children who had read an ebook reported reading more books for fun. Interestingly, though, 80% of children who had read an ebook also said that when they were reading a book for fun, print was the preferred format.
http://www.booknetcanada.ca/blog/2013/6/5/the-state-of-childhood-e-reading-so-far.html?utm_source=BNC+eNews&utm_campaign=119d35bbe5-BNC_eNews_August_12_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a10723ac8b-119d35bbe5-224529229#.UgjTWxZsDHM (August 8, 2013)
Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™ 4th Edition
The Kids & Family Reading Report is a national survey sharing the views of both kids and parents on reading in the increasingly digital landscape and the influences that impact kids’ reading frequency and attitudes toward reading. It is a bi-annual report with 2013 unveiling the fourth edition.
- Section I: Kids, Families and eBooks
- Section II: Kids’ Reading Attitudes and Behaviors
- Section III: Parents’ Views on Reading
- Section IV: Summer Reading
http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/files/kfrr2013-wappendix.pdf (August 12, 2013)