It’s no surprise that eBook use among kids is widening, but recent numbers from Scholastic’s biannual Kids & Family Reading Report are showing just how much difference two years have made.
The number of kids who are reading eBooks has nearly doubled since 2010, up from 25% to 46%, and half or children ages nine to 17 say they would read more books for fun if they had greater access to electronic books.
Boys, who typically demonstrate less motivation to read than girls, are particularly finding more inspiration in eBooks, as the study finds that 25% of boys who have read an eBook say that they are now reading more books for fun.
While boys are being increasingly motivated by eBook opportunities, the number of overall female frequent readers has dipped since 2010 from 42% to 36%. This may be attributable to that fact that girls ages 12-17 are increasing the amount of time they spend visiting social networking sites and using their smartphones for going online, according to the study.
Signs of the digital shift are apparent. The number of kids who say they will always want to read books printed on paper even though there are eBooks available has dipped from 66% in 2010 to 58% in 2012. Still, a full 80% of kids who read eBooks still read books for fun primarily in print. These kids say print books are better for sharing with friends and for reading at bedtime
The study, which was conducted in collaboration with marketing and research firm Harrison Group, also highlights the role that parents are playing in shaping kids’ reading habits. Almost half of parents say they do not have a preference of reading format for their child’s books, and 72% of parents show an interest in having their child read eBooks. Thirty-one percent of parents who have read an eBook say they personally read more books now than they read before going digital.