Printed books still pop­u­lar with par­ents, teens: re­port

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Michael Oliveira

TORONTO — Chil­dren’s sto­ry­books are in no dan­ger of be­com­ing ex­tinct, sug­gests a re­port on how kids and par­ents are em­brac­ing ebooks. Based on the re­sults of online sur­veys con­ducted for Booknet Canada, a non-profit in­dus­try or­ga­ni­za­tion that tracks sales and trends, it ap­pears par­ents and chil­dren aren’t ea­ger to give up on the time-hon­oured tra­di­tion of flip­ping through pa­per books in favour of swip­ing around in dig­i­tal con­tent. Of the more than 800 par­ents in­ter­viewed, about 41 per cent said they cur­rently read ebooks. More than 200 teens be­tween 14 and 17 were also polled (with their par­ents’ per­mis­sion); 27 per cent said they were ebook read­ers. But few in­di­cated they ac­tu­ally pre­fer dig­i­tal books or could see them­selves es­chew­ing pa­per­backs for good. Only one per cent of the par­ents polled said their kids aged 13 and un­der were at the point of read­ing more ebooks than print books. “What we’ve found, and has been found in sim­i­lar stud­ies, is that while many par­ents are adopt­ing new tech­nolo­gies, they are re­luc­tant to have their chil­dren adopt th­ese tech­nolo­gies at the same rate,” reads the re­port. Only about one in four par­ents said they read ebooks with their kids. Four per cent of par­ents said they pre­ferred that their chil­dren read ebooks, while 63 per cent favoured old-fash­ioned books. Among teenagers, 29 per cent said they pre­ferred read­ing ebooks, 37 per cent chose print and 34 per cent had no pref­er­ence. About 41 per cent of them said they ex­pected they’d still mainly be read­ing print books in a year’s time, while only about 10 per cent said they ex­pected to read mostly dig­i­tal con­tent by then. The re­searchers also asked par­ents how their kids were us­ing mo­bile de­vices. The re­port sug­gests just over 60 per cent of kids aged three or four have ac­cess to an Ap­ple or Google An­droid phone or tablet in their home. Among 11- to 13-year-old kids, about 80 per cent had a de­vice in their home. Among the par­ents of chil­dren eight and un­der, 15 per cent said their kids were us­ing the In­ter­net daily, al­most half said a few times a week, and just over 20 per cent said they’re never online. The most com­mon online ac­tiv­i­ties among those kids were play­ing games and watch­ing videos. Al­most half of those par­ents said they some­times hand a phone or tablet to their kids to oc­cupy them when other tasks need to be done. About one in three par­ents said apps are handy for when their kids need a dis­trac­tion. Morethan70per­cent­saidthey“strongly agree” or “some­what agree” that they were con­cerned about how much time their kids spent with mo­bile apps.

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