It seems like you can’t go anywhere in public these days without seeing a child with his or her face glued to a screen. But despite the proliferation of electronic devices, kids still prefer reading actual physical books.
A study by researchers in Australia found that kids who had access to e-readers like Kindles and iPads tended not to use the electronic devices for reading. Even children who reported being daily readers didn’t use electronics as books.
The study also found that the more electronic devices a child had access to, the less they read in general.
“It suggests that providing children with eReading devices can actually inhibit their reading, and that paper books are often still preferred by young people,” the researchers wrote in The Conversation.
Kids now have greater access to electronic devices for reading not only at home but at school, where classrooms are increasingly using technology for learning. But according to the researchers, this actually provides children with more avenues of distraction because they can switch away from a book to a game or website. They said this can be one reason kids prefer paper books.
Despite the growing rise of electronic devices, paper book sales are increasing. In the first half of 2016, paperback book sales grew 8.8 percent over the first half of 2015, to $1.01 billion. Electronic books were down 20 percent to $579.5 million.
Experts say actual books may help kids fall in love with reading and help them stay focused on the book.