Kids play with iPads. (Mine does.) And perhaps a few children below the middle school age are using a Kindle – not 1%, though, I’d bet my hat on it. And less that that actually even own e-readers. (I’d wager another hat).
And yet, is there a more vibrant section of the publishing industry than the “books for kids” category.
Sure, adult non-fiction is seeing amazing growth. And so is adult fiction. But books for upper elementary? Uh…bzzp!
And when I think about it, it might be tough to find a more voracious reader than a 3rd or 4th grader. There are so many kids drinking down 100 books a year in this age group it’s practically uncommon to note it. And there are huge swaths of kids in this age range drinking down 200 books per year as well. Yet still, they don’t own a Kindle. Nor are they clamoring for a Kindle. (I mean, I don’t hear it.)
This, to me, means that young people are still being indoctrinated into “loving printed books” – just like our generation. Therefore, for all this talk about how we are going to one day “get over the smell of books” and “get over the need to hold read and printed pages in our hands” well, are we not breeding the next generation of kids who are kinda gonna feel the same way?
I do dig my e-reader. But I have NOTHING bad to say about printed books. I still buy ’em, I still read ’em, I still write ’em and I still love ’em. Go check out a nine year who who loves to read. That might be a Kindle owner one day, but I do not think that this is a Kindle owner who relishes the idea of dancing on the grave or printed reading material.
And as long as Dr. Seuss still attracts a crowd, I think the reign of printed books still has a bit of room left to run.