BookTrust: Survey Says 76% of Parents Think Their Children Prefer Print Books

BookTrust: Survey Says 76% of Parents Think Their Children Prefer Print Books surveys & polls On Wednesday the UK's leading literacy non-profit released the results of a survey of UK parents. Some 1,500 parents were polled last summer about what they thought their kids' reading preferences were, and the results were released this week.

You can find press coverage at The Guardian and The Bookseller, and the report itself can be downloaded from the BookTrust's website.

At 72 pages long, it's rather dense and I am inf act still reading it myself.  I don't think it can be summarized in a single blog post (The Bookseller tried, and flubbed the headline). So here are a few of the highlights:

  • Most parents have concerns over children using interactive e-books, with only 8% having no concerns. Concerns include that interactive ebooks will:
    • increase children’s screen time (45%),
    • mean they lose interest in print books (35%), expose them to inappropriate content (31%) or too much advertising (27%),
    • affect a child’s attention span (26%),
    • reduce parents’ ability to monitor what children look at (22%) or result in children purchasing add-ons without parents’ knowledge (21%),
    • inhibit learning (14%),
    • harm a child’s brain (10%).
  • Parents want advice about interactive e-books. Almost half of parents would like more advice regarding interactive e-books with 62% of these parents wanting advice concerning how they can be harnessed to support their child’s learning and 58% wanting advice about how they can be used to entertain their child.
  • Print books are the preferred reading format for children. There is a strong preference for print books for reading for pleasure (76%) and educational reading (69%) over interactive e-books (30% reading for pleasure and 34% educational reading) or simple e-books (15% reading for pleasure and 15% educational reading).
  • Even highly digitised households use print books for children’s reading. Although 92% of parents and 73% of children were said to be confident users of technology, only 19% of children use an e-reader daily and 57% never use one despite having one in the home.
  • Half of parents said their children read alone for pleasure. 51% of parents report that their child reads print books alone every day or almost every day, with only 7% reading interactive e-books and 5% reading simple ebooks alone every day or almost every day.

When you read this survey, or the news coverage, it's worth remembering that this was a survey of some 1,511 parents in the UK, who were asked a total of 38 questions about their kids.

In other words, any factoid pulled from this survey report should be assumed to read "Parents said ...", even when it's not explicitly stated.

That distinction is important because, as Carrie Morgan points out on Twitter, there's a huge difference between what parents think their kids like and what the kids actually like. This report tracks the former, but will likely be misreported as the latter.

image by davidmulder61

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

7 Comments

  1. Scott Lewis14 February, 2016

    We used print books right up until we trusted our kids not to drop and break digital. Costs less. Weighs less. Takes less space. I don’t care how they read just that they do. My nine year old devours Kindle books and my Kindergartener has just started reading and is about to get one too. Angry Birds is bad screen time. Reading? Good screen time.

    Reply
  2. 5245435345316 February, 2016

    Have you seen this?
    http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/entertainment-media/outlook/segment-insights/book-publishing.html
    and this:
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-digital-and-traditional-media-divide-is-irrelevant-among-consumers-says-pwc-us-300092825.html
    “Electronic consumer books revenues will be driven by high tablet penetration. By 2019, digital is expected to account for 45 percent of the U.S. total books revenue.”

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder16 February, 2016

      Electronic consumer books revenues will be driven by high tablet penetration. By 2019, digital is expected to account for 45 percent of the U.S. total books revenue.

      So PwC is still saying that ebooks will make up half of book sales in four years? They’ve said that at least three times before, and they were proven wrong each time.

      But thank you for the links!

      Reply
  3. Alison Hewett23 February, 2016

    I am a school librarian with a massive ebook programme. None of my students use an ereader – they all use iPads with reading apps like OverDrive. Therefore a question about ereader use would result in low usage stats.

    Reply
  4. […] example of this was a recent survey conducted by the English association BookTrust that investigated preferences and practices by […]

    Reply
  5. […] example of this was a recent survey conducted by the English association BookTrust that investigated preferences and practices by […]

    Reply
  6. […] example of this was a recent survey conducted by the English association BookTrust that investigated preferences and practices by […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: