The following headline doesn’t quite pass the gut-check test, and isn’t precisely true, but is worth reading: “Half of Bedtime Stories Now Read on E-Books.”
That is the title to a piece in SmartMoney, which notes a survey by The Reading Agency and Ipsos Mori, stating that just under 50% of parents in the United Kingdom read to their kids on ereaders and tablets, or allow them to do so on their own.
So, nearly half either read to their kids from an electronic device, or allow their tots to do the same. That hardly, hardly, translates into 50% of all nighttime stories being read from ebook texts. Still, it’s a fair chunk.
In the same Smartphone report, another fact is highlighted, this one from Bowker Market Research, noting that while the average hardback children’s book costs $10.22, and the normal paperback $8.29, the average child’s ebook costs but $4.57. That’s a large savings, from a percentage standpoint. In the current economy, given its slugging progress, even those who can afford a tablet or ereader may be looking to shave costs.
Thus the data points to a real conclusion: ereading is rapidly become the norm. It has passed the stage of being accepted, but rare. Even more, as these kids are growing up with it, it will be the new normal for them, and not print. Old books, we might start to call those that are printed, and just ‘books’ for those that come digitally.
If you want to stick a finger in any direction, I’d recommend Jeff Bezos’s.