Guess What Kids Are Reading!!

2015 is shifting into gear, but while most are looking forward to what’s around the corner, I spent some time analyzing a 2014 Scholastic survey concerning kids’ reading habits.

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I skimmed over the report with mild interest, but a few points caused me to stop and reflect. While I predicted a few of their findings, some were not at all what I expected.

The part of the survey that immediately perked up my ears, being a writer, was what kids wanted in books. We spend long hours trying to predict this very thing so I fast-forwarded to this part. Little surprise that 70% of kids (more in the 14 and below age group) prefer books with humour, and less surprise that most wanted to read a mystery, or at least about a problem that needed to be solved by the main characters. Hence the popularity of Harry Potter, Captain Underpants, Diary of A Wimpy Kid and the Percy Jackson books.

Teens that were 14 and up seemed to still enjoy a laugh but appreciated books that had romance and/or helped them forget about real life for a while. Hence, the popularity of Hunger Games, Divergent and Twilight. But one of the biggest sellers was the Harry Potter series. Still! That caught me off guard. Not that they aren’t good books, but that teens still read them.

There were interesting but predictable findings about what makes frequent readers and how many books are read by different categories of readers, but what made me take another glance were the surveys concerning e-readers. From 2010 to 2014, there was a 40% increase of kids who’d read e-books. That wasn’t a big ‘ahaa moment’ for me, but what I saw next, was.

77% of kids from 6 – 17 said that most of the books they read were print books, and furthermore 65% would read print books even if e-books were available. I figured that most kids would far rather be reading on screens of some kind. Is this because kindles, and e-readers are not as available to kids that age?

I like to think that maybe I’m not as old fashioned as I thought I was. I still like to curl up and finger the pages of a book, breath in the smell of a new book, and keep them on my shelves as old friends that I like to visit every now and then.

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But take a look for yourself at the link. Tell me if there are any things that jump out at you.

http://www.scholastic.com/readingreport/

 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Guess What Kids Are Reading!!

  1. The ebook finding doesn’t surprise me as most familes have only a family computer and few kids have their own tablet devices, though I’m sure that will change over the next five years. I would be interested in where their survey’s were collect from (rural, urban, suburb). Truthfully, at least in the US, most exposure to books still comes from public school. If parents aren’t readers, they don’t tend to push their kids to read. They will set them in front of the TV or video games instead.

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    • Yes, Tim you are right, most kids wouldn’t have access to tablets etc. But I guess the figure that got me was the one about the kids who actually did read e-books, 65% of them still preferred print books. Now as you say, the reasons could be varied. I’m like you, interested in what transpires in the next few years. I’m still clinging to the hope that print books will still be around in 50 years…

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  2. The part about Harry Potter doesn’t surprise me – that series is going to be a timeless one, me thinks. 😉 I’m not sure what I think about the ereader thing but I bet it does have to do with how many kids have access to them.

    Something I’ve been wondering about and meaning to look into is font selection in ereaders. I’d really like to be able to load a book with the dyslexie font and see if that makes a difference in my daughter’s reading.

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    • You have sparked my interest sparksofember! What is the dyslexia font? I have never heard of it. That would be wonderful if you could arrange that, then any book could be in this font for your daughter!

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      • There have been a few fonts aimed at helping dyslexia but Dyslexie seems to have science behind it and a few studies supporting it. (It’s still relatively new, though.) http://www.dyslexiefont.com/en/dyslexia-font/research/

        But the real test will be running it by my daughter and seeing what she thinks. 🙂

        After a quick google search, looks like kobo allows fonts to be uploaded but most other ereaders do not, as of yet. Sounds like something a petition needs to be started for! 😉

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        • Omyheavens! That is so cool! I had no idea that there was such a thing. Man, I know so many who limped through school with dyslexia and this would have made it so much easier. I’d be interested to see what your daughter thinks of it. Thanks for filling me in!

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  3. The comments about availability of e-readers are probably valid, but I fervently hope that a book will always remain preferable in the tactile sense.
    Very informative post, Loraine. Thanks!

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    • Thanks Linda! I do love to read summaries of what kids are reading and what their habits are, but i do wonder where they are getting their data sometimes. I for one will always have books… in the tactile sense!

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  4. My sixth grade students all have iPads. In class, I give them the option of reading a book on their iPad (if we can get the ebook version for freee) or using one of my hard copies. The split is usually pretty 50/50. Some kids just get tired of staring at their screens all day, so they want the hard copy. Some like the feel of a book in their hands. The ones who choose the ebook version usually like playing with the font size or being able to look up words by simply tapping on them or being able to highlight things as they go.

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    • That is so interesting and right from the front lines too! Love your comment and insight. Do they have their own iPads or school iPads? I wonder what they do at home when they want to read a book? I can certainly see the benefit if they were reading a book that you were studying, to be able to highlight etc. Thanks for dropping in with your expertise!!

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    • I didn’t think about the dictionary aspect of tablet devices. Are the Ipads personal property or school property?

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