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New Study: Kids who read books are better readers than kids who read on phones

Reading books beats reading phones

Reading books beats reading phones

Do you like to read in the bathtub?

Have you ever flipped through a magazine in a doctor’s waiting room or hair salon?

Are you tempted to pick up a tabloid while standing in line at the supermarket?

Me, too.

But many children and teens, aged 8 to 16, have cast aside the printed page, according to a new study by the UK organization National Literacy Trust. Instead of reading books, magazines, newspapers or even comic books, they are reading on their smart phones, computers, or tablets. The research shows:

  • 39% of children and young people read daily using electronic devices vs. only 28% who read printed materials daily.
  •  More than half (52%) said they would rather read on electronic devices vs. 32% who say they would rather read in print.

You may say, “Well, as long as they’re reading something, it’s all good, right? Who cares if it’s a printed page or an electronic screen?” But actually it matters. A lot.

All reading is not created equal. And those who read books have the advantage:

 “. . . Those who read daily only on-screen are nearly twice less likely to be above average readers than those who read daily in print or in print and on-screen (15.5% vs 26%). Those who read only on-screen are also three times less likely to enjoy reading very much (12% vs 51%) and a third less likely to have a favourite book (59% vs 77%). ” — National Literacy Trust

The bottom line, according to the study, is that “those who read daily only on-screen are much less likely to be good readers than those who read in print.”

The takeaway message for parents? If you want your kids to be a good reader, encourage them to put down the phone and pick up a book.

Do you agree?

Read on,

by Maryann Hammers

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2 comments on “New Study: Kids who read books are better readers than kids who read on phones

  1. Robin
    June 1, 2013

    Thanks for the validation, Maryann. Our 9-year old is an avid book reader. She is currently devouring the Harry Potter series. Her speed, comprehension and vocabulary are off the testing charts – at 2-3 grade levels ahead. This translates into her imaginative writing class work where her ideas come alive. Something her teacher says is not testable though, and she remarks on how evolved her thinking is in comparison to others at her grade level. She does screen read on her Kindle at times, which is where she discovered the world of Oz stories by Frank L.Baum – the JK Rowling of is time, to be sure. Cheers.

  2. Maryann Hammers
    July 7, 2013

    Glad to hear it. Good for your daughter . . . so happy to know that some kids really do still love books. And thanks for chiming in; I really appreciate it.

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This entry was posted on May 31, 2013 by in reading, words, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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