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Study: Kids would read more if they had e-readers

Getting your kid an e-reader could get them to read more.

A new study by Scholastic shows that over half of kids aged between 9-17 say they are interested in reading from e-readers, and a third say they would read more books if they had access to them on electric devices. However, what kids consider reading may be problematic -- a quarter of kids surveyed considered things like texting with friends reading, and 28 percent said the same about going through their Facebook pages and reading posts. Parents, of course, disagreed.

The study finds that parents are concerned about electronic and digital devices, saying that their usage negatively affects how kids spend their time on other activities, like reading books, physical activities and spending time with family.

[RELATED: More sustainable: E-readers or books?]

Scholastic surveyed 1,045 kids between the ages of 6 and 17 and their parents about reading in the digital age for the "2010 The Kids & Family Reading Report."

"While parents understandably have concerns about the amount of time their kids are spending on electronic or digital devices, e-books offer a way to get more kids reading and kids reading more," said Francie Alexander, chief academic officer, in a press release. "If we can meet kids where they are and get a third of all kids, many of them struggling readers, to spend more time reading for fun on e-books, that additional time spent building fluency and vocabulary will not only help them become more proficient at reading, but will help prepare them to tackle more complex texts that they will encounter in high school and college."

Other findings of the study:

  • 28% of kids (ages 9-17) think that looking through postings or comments on social networking sites like Facebook counts as reading; only 15% of parents agree.
  • 25% of kids (ages 6-17) have read a book on a digital device (the majority on a computer or laptop/netbook).
  • 43% of kids and parents say that, when reading books for fun, it is most important for children's imagination to be expanded, while about a third say the most important outcome is for children to gain inspiration through characters and storylines (36% kids/35% parents), with about one in five saying it is to gain information (21% kids/22% parents).
  • 86% of kids feel proud and have a sense of accomplishment when they finish reading a book.
  • Only 50% of kids say reading books for fun is extremely or very important; compared to 89% of parents.
  • 71% of parents wish their child would read more books for fun. 75% of children (ages 9-17) say they know they should read more.

[Related: More sustainable: Digital, print media?]

You can see the full report here.

About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.
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