E-reading generation emerging
A new “snapshot” of the habits that today's young readers — tomorrow's book-buyers — are forming under their parents' watch offers hints about what and how they'll read as adults, and how the books business can prepare to capitalize.
The “snapshot” is the latest edition of a survey that's been done for children's-book publisher Scholastic Inc. every other year since 2006. This time, nearly 1,100 children and their parents — about 2,150 respondents total — took part.
As The Associated Press reported, the survey found 46 percent of respondents ages 6 to 17 had read an e-book in 2012 — a figure up sharply from 2010's 25 percent. Yet 80 percent of young e-book readers said they still read print books.
Writing at The New York Times' Media Decoder blog, David Maxwell went deeper into the survey findings and added perspective from Scholastic, reporting that the sharp rise in kids' e-book reading “is not necessarily translating into a greater desire to read.”
While e-book reading soared overall, the portion of girls reporting they're frequent readers fell to 36 percent, down from 42 percent two years earlier. Francine Alexander, Scholastic's chief academic officer, told Maxwell that dip in girls' reading is related to how kids are reading e-books.
Just like readers as a whole, kids increasingly read e-books on tablet computers rather than on dedicated e-reading devices. That means additional distractions from reading — the web, social media, online games — not accessible via dedicated e-readers, and Alexander told Maxwell that girls using tablets “were social networking more.”
If there's a silver lining to that gender disparity, it's that it runs counter to the longtime trend of boys' reading lagging behind girls'.
Other survey findings are encouraging in terms of youngsters' overall reading: About a fourth of boys who'd read an e-book reported reading more books for fun, and half of respondents ages 9 to 17 said greater access to e-books would lead them to read more books for fun.
And echoing an observation frequently made by and about adults, the survey found that kids especially like e-books when they want “to be secretive about reading,” as Maxwell put it.
But kids are still kids: Most taking the survey still like print books for bedtime reading.
When it comes to reading, today's kids — who've grown up with and take for granted computers, the Internet and smartphones — probably are more likely than today's adults to think of e-books, not print books, first. As they become adults, and an ever bigger segment of book-buyers, that difference in background will have ever bigger importance for the industry, which must position itself to take advantage of their greater propensity to choose e-books.
Winning at war & at table
Two new books offer takes on the Allies' World War II victory and one of its chief architects that differ from most:
“Dinner with Churchill: Policy-Making at the Dinner Table” by Cita Stelzer (Pegasus) — A Hudson Institute research associate who's on the Churchill Centre's board explores how Great Britain's wartime prime minister — who loved food, champagne and charming guests — used dining to exercise his conversational talent, gather useful gossip and diplomatic tidbits, and argue for his policies in settings ranging from ostensibly social occasions to his critical conferences with FDR and Stalin. The publisher says the book “draws on previously untapped material, diaries of guests, and a wide variety of other sources ... .”
“Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers Who Turned The Tide in the Second World War” by Paul Kennedy (Random House, available Jan. 29) — A prize-winning author who's been Yale University's Dilworth professor of history since 1983 offers what the publisher calls “a fascinating nuts-and-bolts account” of how “ordinary soldiers, scientists, engineers and businessmen” realized “their commanders' visions of success.” The book includes behind-the-scenes accounts of the development and use of a miniature radar unit, a multiheaded grenade launcher, the P-51 Mustang, pontoon bridges and the B-29 Superfortress and how such massive actions as the Normandy invasion were coordinated.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Kang story of the year for Pirates
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- IRS cybersecurity breach touches lives of homebuyers, others
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers
- Ex-S. Allegheny teacher held on sex assault counts
- Emergency crews search Youghiogheny River in Layton for Charleroi man
- Propel sixth-graders chronicle McKeesport history for younger peers
- Ford City told to correct problems with pension plan language
- Pirates use big 7th inning to sweep Marlins, stretch winning streak
- Primary write-in votes tabulated in Armstrong County
- Pa. Gov. Wolf proposes to add $28M a year for human services