Beyond Texts and Tweets, Young People Still Love to Read books

It’ll come as a welcome surprise to parents and educators alike that kids are still reading books.  Today’s Internet savvy students don’t see the Internet and other technology as a substitute for books (for now anyway), but rather as a supplement to them.  While 7 out of 10 people have read a book in the past year, 8 out of 10 young people have – meaning the reading of books is on the rise in the younger generation.  The article Beyond Texts and Tweets, Young People Still Love to Read books on the website MindShift details the findings.  Read on. 

In what may come as a pleasant surprise to people who fear the Facebook generation has given up on reading — or, at least, reading anything longer than 140 characters — a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reveals the prominent role of books, libraries and technology in the lives of young readers, ages 16 to 29. Kathryn Zickuhr, the study’s main author, joins NPR’s David Greene to discuss the results.

ON THE READING HABITS OF YOUNG AMERICANS

“We found that about 8 in 10 Americans under the age of 30 have read a book in the past year. And that’s compared to about 7 in 10 adults in general, American adults. So, they’re reading — they’re more likely to read, and they’re also a little more likely to be using their library.”

ON THE USE OF E-BOOKS AMONG YOUNG READERS 

“We heard from e-book readers in general [that] they don’t want e-books to replace print books. They see them as part of the same general ecosystem; e-books supplement their general reading habits. And we heard from a lot of younger e-book readers about how e-books just fit into their lives — how they can read when they’re waiting in line for class, or waiting in line for lunch. One reader in particular told us that when he has a book that he loves, he wants to be able to access it in any format. So with the Harry Potter series and the [Song of Ice and Fire] series, he’s actually bought all of those books as print books and as e-books, just because they matter that much to him …

“We haven’t seen for younger readers that e-books are massively replacing print books. That might happen in the future, but right now we’re just seeing them sort of as a more convenient supplement.”

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