Kids Really Do Prefer Print Books

Background Articles Referenced in The News and Observer Piece

Teresa Welsh’s article in The News and Observer links to some interesting information. First of all, she bases the article on a study done in Australia, and a link in Welsh’s article takes you to an abstract of this research. (Computers & Education, Volume 109, June 2017, Pages 187–196, “The influence of access to eReaders, computers and mobile phones on children’s book reading frequency.”)

This is the study Welsh’s article references: “2016 Western Australian Study in Children’s Book Reading.” The abstract noted above describes the behavior of kids with access to digital reading devices and their choice of print books for their recreational reading (i.e., when it was their choice rather than their teacher’s or parents’ choice as to what they read and how). This study correlates with the findings in Welsh’s article, but it also notes the external pressure on children to use digital reading devices (i.e., the high utilization of electronic reading devices and similar technology in schools, plus parents’ desire to ensure their kids’ digital literacy).

The study also found that increased access to mobile phones (another reading device) correlated with less reading by the children.

A second link in Welsh’s article takes you to “Children prefer to read books on paper rather than screens,” from, 3/9/17, by Margaret Kristin Merga and Saiyidi Mat Roni.

This article notes: “… that while some students enjoyed reading books on devices, the majority of students with access to these technologies did not use them regularly for this purpose. Importantly, the most avid book readers did not frequently read books on screens.”