January 14, 2013

Scholastic: E-Books Gaining Ground Among Youth


Who says young people don't read anymore?

A recent report from Scholastic Inc., one of the biggest names in books for younger readers, says there's a kind of book that's gaining ground among young people out there, though given the format, the report may not be too big of a surprise – the e-book.  

The report, commissioned by Scholastic Inc., showed that in 2010, for kids running between nine and 17, only about 25 percent had read an e-book. But fast forward just two years and that number jumps to nearly one in two, with 46 percent having read an e-book.

Growth is comparatively assured, with half of the stragglers expressing an interest in reading an e-book.

There are, however, two key points to take away from the study. One, the study found that e-book reading kids aren't throwing over paper books for their electronic equivalent in any great numbers, as 80 percent of kids who have read an e-book also still read paper-based books.

Two, one of the biggest things pushing the availability of books for children in e-book format is the rise of tablets, especially the iPad.

We've known for some time that the e-book is generally on the rise. Electronic literature is currently pegged as responsible for 25 to 30 percent of total book sales. The growth of e-book creation tools is driving plenty more of them to the market; it's never been easier to be a published author on places like Amazon and the like.

There are a lot more e-books on the market than ever before, and in conjunction with that, many more devices that can handle the e-book platform. Though it's somewhat different with children's fare – most books geared toward children are heavy on illustrations and thus require a larger platform like tablets to show them – even this is changing somewhat.

Consider the rise in the young adult book market, properties like the "Twilight" saga and "The Hunger Games." These are geared toward a relatively younger market, and have found readers across all segments of society.

Putting these in e-book format is a smart idea that only boosts their appeal.

While "Goodnight Moon" or anything by Dr. Seuss may not play out so well on a smartphone screen, there's more than enough to show that e-books are gaining in all sectors, and the younger readers are no exception. There's likely to always be a place for the storybook, in its paper format, but there is also plenty of opportunity for the e-book and the e-book reader to gain ground as well.




Edited by Braden Becker



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