The good people at Scholastic — the company that peppered my elementary school years with book fairs — have released their 2010 Kids & Family Reading Report. Among the report’s self-defined key findings:
- Parents think that their kids’ use of electronic devices cuts into their reading time, their exercise time and their engagement with the rest of the family.
- Parents, when asked what one device they’d like their kids to stop using for a week or two, chose televisions, video games and cellphones.
- Only 25 percent of kids have read a book on a digital device, but 57 percent are interested in doing so.
- 43 percent of kids age 9 to 17 say that they’d like reading to “open up the imagination.” Beyond that, 36 percent read to “be inspired”; 21 percent read to gain new information.
- Nine out of 10 kids say they are more likely to finish books they choose for themselves.
- 56 percent of parents worry that, as their kids become more involved with digital devices, they will be less interested in reading books for fun.
- 77 percent of parents worry that their kids will think that all knowledge can be obtained as quickly as the click of a mouse.
- Among children ages 9 to 17, 39 percent totally agree with the statement, “The information I find online is always correct.”
The report was based on a “representational” sample of 1,045 children ages 6 to 17 and their parents, a total of 2,090 respondents.
(I find it statistically odd that in a representational sample of American children, all of the kids they picked had two parents to interview.)