A study from the United Kingdom reports that young people aged 8 to 16 prefer reading text on screens rather than in print.
Does this mean that the book is dead?
And is the Kindle Classroom Project speeding up this process?
The National Literacy Trust surveyed more than 35,000 young people, and 52 percent said they liked reading on screens. Only 32 percent preferred paper, with the remainder having no opinion or stating they didn’t like to read at all. (I wonder what the results would be had the researchers asked American youth.)
The study didn’t investigate whether young people are reading more or less overall. Some say that the rise of Kindles and tablets has led to the demise of books, while others contend that e-readers offer teenagers a chance to reconnect with books.
That debate will no doubt continue, but for the 49 students who participate in the Kindle Classroom Project, the answer is a pretty easy one. On average, students in the program have read 13 books since January (one semester). Last school year (two semesters), before the project, they read an average of five books.
I don’t hope for the destruction of books. But something has changed in this generation. Screens are everywhere. It’s time that we meet young people where they are and invite them to read how they want to.