Parents prefer printed books over e-books

A New York based non-profit organisation dedicated to studying and promoting children’s reading has released a report stating that parents and children both prefer reading printed books when reading together! Less than 10% of both children and parents prefer to read ebooks when together and about 40% of children and 20% of parents like reading both equally.

Digital Book World conducted an online poll and nearly 90% of the 93 respondents confirmed they preferred reading print books to their children.

Michael Levine, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Centre that undertook the study made a good point and said, “Parent-child interaction around reading is an experience that is treasured. Parents of this demographic have had the experience of creating their literacy habits through a lifetime and these are happy memories. They want their children to have that warm, nurturing experience when reading books.”

Levine’s comments suggest a cycle that could/should last generations. There is something wonderful about sitting with a physical, tangible, tactile book: the weight, the feel of the paper, the smell even. Some of our fondest reading memories as children are those around our favourite books – many of us in fact still have the battered, beaten books even now, or have passed them on to our own children. Can the same be said 20 or 30 years down the line for those that downloaded the digital version? Copyright issues certainly throw a spanner in the works when thinking about file sharing!

It appears parents are still somewhat wary of e-books. Some feel that animations and videos can distract children from the learning experience; earlier research from the Joan Ganz Cooney Centre suggested that children retain less content during enhanced e-book reading experiences than with print books or non-enhanced ebooks. This way of thinking is certainly supported by ebook sales data for the Children’s sector. They have not seen the spike that other genres have experienced.

Perhaps reading a printed book can bring about a feeling that an ebook can never recreate. As the rise of ebooks has been putting books under siege it seems that ‘the death of print’ may be a long way off yet!!

Source of the data: