The Impact of e-Books on Young Children’s Reading Habits
This article reports on a pilot study which aimed to consider the e-book reading experiences of young children and their families, with currently available portable e-reader devices: Amazon Kindle, Nintendo DS-lite and Apple iPod Touch. Three families, each with two children in the 7–12 year age range, experienced an e-reader for a two-week period. They recorded their experiences in a diary and were interviewed at the beginning and end of the study. Key findings include the fact that, of the six children involved, four rate themselves as ‘enthusiastic’ readers, one ‘average’ and one ‘reluctant’; whilst all six of the parents enjoy reading. At the end of the study, all of the participants chose the Kindle as their preferred device and found it the easiest to use. In addition, there were indications that the one reluctant young reader (a boy aged eight years) was inspired to read by the Kindle. His parents were pleased with this enthusiasm, noting that he was reading rather than watching television, excited by downloading and choosing books and it was the only time they had known him to ask to read voluntarily. When asked whether they prefer printed or electronic books, all of the adults chose printed books, whilst the children were more ambivalent, with half preferring electronic books.
Keywordse-Books e-Readers Children’s literature Child readers Families reading Amazon Kindle Nintendo DS-lite Apple iPod Touch Reluctant readers
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