E-readers and tablet computers are encouraging a gadget-obsessed generation of youngsters to read, a survey of parents suggests.
Concerns that children sit in front of the television for too long or play on their games console to the detriment of reading are often raised.
But far from distracting them from reading, parents believe gadgets help capture their children’s interest in books.
In a new survey, just under half of parents questioned by the Reading Agency said they think electronic items like Kindles, Sony Readers and iPads encourage their sons and daughters to read more.
A quarter said they had bought their children electronic reading aids, with a further 16% saying they let their youngsters use their own e-readers and tablet computers.
But it would seem the popularity of libraries is declining. Less than two thirds of parents polled said they had registered their child at the local library or borrowed books for them to read.
Three quarters said they encourage their child to read by getting them to read aloud to family members, while almost four fifths said they buy books, comics and magazines. And more than half said they make sure their child sees them and other adults reading.
So, if you’re one of those parents looking to buy your youngster a new e-reader to get them interested in books during the summer holidays, here are some of the best on the market:
Kindle Touch 3G
The Kindle Touch 3G is Amazon’s top-of-the-line e-reader with touch-screen technology and free 3G wireless. Costing £169, it reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight. It also has free 3G wireless for downloading books anytime, anywhere, with no monthly payments or annual contracts. It holds an amazing 3,000 books and has a new X-Ray feature, which could be useful for doing homework as it lets you look up characters, historical figures, and interesting phrases.
Kobo Touch Edition eReader
If you don’t want to spend quite that much on your little one, Kobo offers a good value alternative. A bit like getting a gold star at school, the Kobo offers different achievements to collect as you read, which could appeal to competitive youngsters. You get rewards for finishing books or reading up to certain page numbers and there’s the option to then share your literary endeavours on social media sites. RRP £79.
GoBook Imagine 8
For those with younger children, the GoBook is ideal. With a full colour touchscreen that’s about the same size as a traditional paperback, it’s easy for little hands to hold. Designed to look just like a grown-up e-reader, it’s simpler to use, fingerprint resistant and comes with a hardwearing aluminium chassis. The GoBook, which costs £79.99 also includes 1000 eBooks to get your collection started, ranging from baby books through to classic novels in the GCSE and A-Level syllabus.
Sony eBook Reader Touch Edition PRS-600
Just 0.4” thin and weighing less than 10.1 ounces, the Reader Touch Edition is thinner and more lightweight than almost any book, making it a great travelling companion. You can enjoy books from Sony’s ebook store and over half a million free public domain titles from Google. A quick page turn lets you read at a natural pace and there’s a high contrast ration that helps ensure your favourite books are easily readable. RRP £177