Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do Your Kids Have Ereaders?

The other day, my daughter brought home a note from school. It said this:

Good Evening,

At the start of the school year several families asked if their child can bring in a Nook or Kindle for reading. At that time the answer was no. Over the last week Mr. F and the AR team have revisited that rule. Attached is the eReader policy that XXX Elementary will follow going forward. If you are interested in having your child bring their eReader to school please read over the attached policy, sign and have your child bring in the signed form to me. Once I have the form in hand, I will e-mail you confirmation that I have received the form. After you received that e-mail you may send in the eReader with your son or daughter. Please DO NOT send in the eReader until I have confirmed receipt of your signed policy form.
I wonder if this is happening across the country, if schools are revisiting their policies and if we will see more and more children bringing ereaders to school. I don't want to get into issues of equality and what this means for children who can't afford such devices, though I think it's a worthy topic of discussion. What I want to focus on is the implications this has on young readers and the future of the digital market.

Today's children are very quick to pick up new technology and to adapt it to their needs. I know there are readers out there who don't have an ereader or who feel that nothing can substitute for the feel of a paperback in their hand. Don't expect the next generation to feel the same. Moreover, the popularity of ereaders is likely to encourage more reading which is good news for authors.

According to an August 2011 article in The Atlantic 3,000 young adult novels were published in 1997. By 2009 that number had jumped to 30,000 with sales surpassing $3 billion. The point of this article is that young adult is not simply read by young people anymore. That's true, but consider that this increase also likely reflects growth in the number of young readers. Kids will no longer be carrying one book to school, they'll be carrying an ereader loaded with all their favorites. Expect books and authors to become a hot topic of discussion as they compare favorites and explore new stories.

It's an exciting time to be an author, scary too. But there are more and more opportunities out there to tell a great story. The popularity of ereaders with young people is a positive sign that demand for books will stay strong into the future.

So what do you think will be the effect of ereaders on children and teens? Do your kids or grandkids have ereaders?


Mona Risk said...

In Chicago, my grandchildren's grammar public school provides them wqith iPAD. I'm talking about 7 years old kids.

Jill James said...

My 9 year old grandson doesn't have his own ereader, but he does have his own books on mom's Nook.

Josie said...

I'll be the first to admit that I resisted, but e-readers are here to stay. My sister received a Kindle Fire for Christmas, and said she loves it so much she would marry it if she wasn't already married. :)