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The New Digital Bookworms

Kids are read­ing more than ever…electronically.  iPads and Tablets are chang­ing how kids every­where will expe­ri­ence reading.

Accord­ing to The Tele­graph, 2.6 mil­lion eBooks for chil­dren were sold in the first half of 2012 alone, com­pared to one mil­lion sales in the whole of 2011. Much of this jump in sales can be attrib­uted to the deep­er sat­u­ra­tion of these new devices into every­day lives over the past year, as well as bet­ter tech­nol­o­gy and appli­ca­tions that have worked out some of the tech­ni­cal kinks. Many experts believe this new gen­er­a­tion will most like­ly become more used to read­ing off a dig­i­tal screen than an actu­al piece of paper with text typed onto it. Due to the dig­i­tal touch­screen and the built-in inter­ac­tiv­i­ty of these new devices, it seems read­ing has sud­den­ly become fun again for kids everywhere—or in many cas­es, fun for the first time. But what is most inter­est­ing about this new generation’s obses­sion with these dig­i­tal read­ing devices is how the pub­lish­ing indus­try will change dra­mat­i­cal­ly as they grow up.

How the Pub­lish­ing Indus­try is Adjusting

It was no secret that the pub­lish­ing indus­try was strug­gling from a busi­ness stand­point over the past decade and the eRead­er technology—from Kin­dle to iPad and beyond—has stopped the bleed­ing. With the recent boom in eBook sales among chil­dren, the pub­lish­ing indus­try has adjust­ed their focus accord­ing­ly from tra­di­tion­al print pub­lish­ing to the new dig­i­tal marketplace.

“The growth in children’s eBooks is real­ly a reflec­tion of the fact that children’s dig­i­tal books have become more pos­si­ble in the last 12 months,” said Richard Mol­let, chief exec­u­tive of the Publisher’s Asso­ci­a­tion. “For exam­ple, it has only been in the last year where the pub­lish­ing for­mat has allowed for flow­able text, and that is one of the rea­sons why children’s books have tak­en off in dig­i­tal recently.”

There also has been a notice­able boom in pic­ture books for chil­dren, as this for­mat allows for more inter­ac­tiv­i­ty and small amounts of ani­ma­tion. By adding these visu­al and cog­ni­tive addi­tions, the read­ing expe­ri­ence for the child is, if sales num­bers are any indi­ca­tion, great­ly improved.

The Ben­e­fits of the Boom

Not only have eBooks via iPad, Kin­dle or any oth­er type of tablet saved the pub­lish­ing indus­try on the busi­ness front, but it has also made the younger gen­er­a­tion want to read again.

“It is entire­ly pos­si­ble that peo­ple will be more used to read­ing from a screen than a page, and I do not think it mat­ters in the lest, so long as they are read­ing,” said Sarah Ode­d­i­na, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Hot Key Books, a pub­lish­er of dig­i­tal children’s fic­tion. “There was a time when there weren’t any paperbacks.”

Which rais­es anoth­er inter­est­ing point: As the next gen­er­a­tion grows up more accus­tomed to read­ing off a dig­i­tal screen than any­where else, imag­ine how much paper will be saved, in turn help­ing the planet.

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