What kids say about the print vs. digital quarrel.

                           Kids Choose Print over EBooks                                                   

Are you as torn as I am about whether you should be encouraging your kids and grandkids to read eBooks vs. print? No Need! The kids have solved that problem for us.

For the record, here are three informative findings.

2011 Scholastic reported “68 percent (of parents) preferred that their 6- to 8-year-olds read print books.

-2012, 48% of parents (especially parents of young children) preferred their kids read print books.

-2016, the chart below shows that nearly two-thirds of kids now choose to read print over eBooks. EBooks are loosing their appeal.

 Print Books in a Digital World graph

                                  Kids prefer being read to with a print book.

read aloud in a print book

eBooks are used mainly in school. They are loosing their appeal in the home. Technology isn’t going to disappear. It continues to transform our society and it has its place as a tool to help kids master skills. Reading is a vital skill. The digital format entertains kids as they learn skills like letter recognition or alphabetization.   However, if we view reading only as a skill to be mastered, we miss an opportunity, as parents, to connect with our kids.

Reading in print is, “a hands- on- experience” according to Jenny Deam in her article E-Books vs. Print: What Parents Need to Know. Parents and kids interact when they read a print book. They focus and they explore the story together (without the distraction of animation or music). They share thoughts. The rush to know what happens next in the story is driven by its content. The child and parent make an emotional connection when they discuss the story together.

Sadly, without realizing it, parents are emotionally blackmailed when they feel they aren’t doing the best for their children, as they get older, if they don’t put the newest technology gadgets into their hands. Kids still like to be read to even as they grow older. It’s useful to be reminded that “human interaction and nurturing are critical components to learning.” (Vygotsky) Touch is a sense that physically connects us. A parent and a child become deeply involved when they read together. It’s engaged learning.

This is a case where kids know what they need. Parents and children make emotional connections when they read together, and share their thoughts . In fact, the more books that are available to children, the greater their chances to be successful in school,  according to a study done over two decades by Dr. Stephen D. Krashen, Professor Emeritus of Education, University of Southern California.

This may not be new news but it is validating to see this truth still holds true despite the prevalence of technology in all our lives.

So, here are four ways to fill the need for print in your kids lives.

1.Use your public library at least once a week.

It’s free. Also, more and more libraries are selling at minimal cost, duplicate books they have taken off their shelves.

 2. Subscribe to newspapers.

Parents are role models for their children. When your kids see you are curious about the world and read, they will pick up the habit too

3. Limit screen time.

4. Check out  Little FreeLibrary (more about this movement in another blog)

If your  neighborhood has one, use it. Take a book. Share a book. Picking up a book on your way home from school or on your way to the park, just doesn’t get any better.






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