'Championing the rights of children'

Children's reading shrinking due to apps, games and YouTube

Garry Fri 27 Sep 2013 13:03

Nielsen Book data suggests that 32% of children read books every day, and 60% every week. But these percentages are falling as digital entertainment rises.

According to a survey of 2,000 British children and parents conducted by Nielsen Book in June this year, 50% of family households now own at least one tablet, up from 24% a year ago.

Is this a good thing for kids' reading habits? Are they hoovering up e-books and delighting in digital book-apps on these devices? In a word: no. At least not according to data shared at The Bookseller Children's Conference by research firm Nielsen Book.

The good news? 32% of children still read books for pleasure on a daily basis, the second most popular activity behind watching TV (36%), and well ahead of social networking (20%), watching videos on YouTube (17%) and playing mobile games and apps (16%).

On a weekly basis, 60% of children are reading books for pleasure, and if you factor in children who are being read to by parents, that percentage climbs to 72%. But…

"But there's a really disturbing pattern beginning to emerge when you look on a weekly basis," said Nielsen Book's Jo Henry, presenting the findings to an audience of publishers.

Only three activities increased in percentage terms between 2012 and 2013: playing "game apps" (the term used by Nielsen Book), visiting YouTube and text messaging. Reading? That was down nearly eight percentage points.

Read more... (The Guardian - 26 September)