Kids in the US devoted more time to reading digital books last year, and are better off emotionally for it, according to new data from kid-focused digital reading platform Epic.
In its “Read All About It” report, Epic examined the reading habits and interests of children during the pandemic, and found that their monthly digital reading time skyrocketed by 89% last year compared to 2019. To gather its data, Epic and global research firm Morning Consult polled 1,000 US parents of kids ages five to 12 over a two-week period in March 2021.
According to the parents surveyed, nearly 70% of their kids were happy after reading, and humor was the group’s favorite book genre. (They also liked comics/graphic novels, adventure, sci-fi, fantasy, fairy tales and mysteries.)
Nearly three-quarters of parents also said reading increased their kids’ self-confidence, curiosity and creativity. Only 10% said their kids showed anxiety, sadness or anger after reading. By comparison, after watching TV or playing a video game, 29% of kids were anxious, 20% were sad and 27% were angry, according to parents. But watching TV is still kids’ favorite free-time activity, followed by reading. Playing video games, doing arts and crafts, going outside and participating in sports ranked further down the list.
As for the type of book content kids are looking for, “friendship” made the top-10 list of search topics on Epic for the first time, joining animals, funny, pet, cat, bedtime, strange, monster, family and dog. Minecraft and Big Nate were also very popular titles, and fiction beat out non-fiction overall, representing 86% of the books kids finished reading in 2020.