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76% of children prefer print books

15 February 2016

A survey carried out by Booktrust in association with the Open University has found that children of 0-8 prefer reading print books, rather than ebooks. An astounding 76% showed a preference for print books for reading for pleasure and 69% prefer print books for educational reading too. Only 15% of parents said that children prefer using simple ebooks for reading for pleasure and educational reading.

Interestingly, reasons for preferring print books over ebooks included children enjoying turning the book's pages, owning their own book and choosing books from the library. All these relate to the physical quality of the book as an object and reflect the appeal of books, perhaps especially illustrated books, for this age group.

Parents, naturally, are keen to develop this interest in books and are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of reading for pleasure in terms of educational attainment. There's also an increasing body of evidence supporting parental involvement in reading with their kids.

This underlying trend, of both parents and children preferring print books, is what has spurred the growth of children's publishing, which today offers a fabulous range of children's books internationally for parents to buy, books which backlist and generally don't date in the way that adult books do. For children's writers the opportunities look very bright, especially since there is such a growing market across the world for good children's books.