Next time you fret about the amount of time you, your friends or your offspring are spending with their e-readers, take heart. You are part of a growing trend: reading.
Last November Kristina Chew wrote a Care2 Causes post that posed a question on a lot of parents’ minds: In the choice between an e-book or a paper book, which is best for kids? She weighed both sides and handed it to readers to come to their own conclusions.
Then in February Julie Rodriguez reported on an online survey that looked at reading habits of teens and children that had some surprising results:
[W]hile children 12 and under consider e-books “fun” and “cool,” teenagers 13-17 are the least likely out of any age group to read e-books. That’s right: both 5-year-olds and 40-year-olds are more likely to read an e-book than your tech-savvy, constantly-texting 16-year-old is.
Physical books delight me. So do e-books. So I was thrilled to learn the reading picture is not as dismal as many think. However, it looked grim until the e-reader came along. A few days ago Kaitlyn White from the design and research team at OnlineTeachingDegree.com sent me an eye-opening infographic that pulled together statistics from recent surveys.
I followed the links and found a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) study from 2007, To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence. Some of the statistics were reported in the Boston Globe, and they made pretty dismal reading. I won’t repeat them here since key figures were pulled out for the infographic. You can find the Executive Summary here and the full report here.
On the other hand, you can skip over the bad news and go straight to the good. The 2012 NEA study has a hopeful title, Reading on the Rise: A New Chapter in American Literacy. For the first time in 26 years of periodic NEA surveys, reading is on the rise. A Pew report, The rise of e-reading, confirms that optimistic finding.
Both studies credit the e-reader for the surge of interest in books and reading. So take a look at the infographic on the next page. Then relax, pick up your e-reader or regular book, and enjoy a good read.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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