January 18, 2022

New Study Looks at Attitudes, Adoption, and Discovery of Ebooks by Kids and Teens in Canada

The full text report is fee-based. Here are some highlights from the news release.

From BookNet Canada:

Measuring Attitudes and Adoption of Digital Content for Kids and Teens, released today, reviews parents’ and teens’ attitudes towards reading and technology and examines how new behaviours and technologies are transforming the way families find, access, and consume stories. Data for the study was derived from a nationally representative panel of book consumers grouped into two categories: parents of children aged 0–13, and young adults aged 14–17 who had received parental permission to respond to the survey. Data was collected from 1,044 respondents: 823 parents (responding for 1,420 children) and 221 young adults.

With the rise of tablets and other multi-use devices, parents are significantly more likely to own a tablet than a dedicated e-reader. On average, parents report having 6.4 devices per household, whereas teens report regularly using 4.8 devices. Among the 27% of teens who read ebooks, the study did not find a strong preference for print or electronic format: 37% prefer print books, 29% prefer ebooks, and 34% have no format preference. In addition, parents who currently read ebooks are significantly more likely to predict that their children will be reading ‘slightly’ to ‘significantly’ more ebooks in the near future.


The study also investigated discoverability. While word of mouth is still the most common factor in discovering a new book, both parents and teens are actively seeking out information on books and authors online. Forty-three percent of parents currently read a sample chapter online before purchasing a book, and a further 18% report that they are interested in doing so in the future. Apps are also a hot topic: children as young as three years old have regular access to apps, and nearly 50% of parents ‘agree strongly’ that apps have the potential to be effective educational tools. In particular, they’re looking for apps that are fun, educational, and aimed at improving reading skills. As the distinction between ebooks and apps can often be blurry, it is important for publishers to promote quality educational content—40% of parents are willing to purchase educational apps, and over 80% of the top-selling paid educational apps in the iTunes store are aimed at children.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.