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.