E-books may encourage reluctant readers, who are usually boys, to read more, according to a study from children's publisher Scholastic Inc.  

The U.S. study of reading habits among children aged 6-17 and their parents found that 46 per cent of children had read an e-book in the past year. 

Kids and family reading report

  • Children who have read an e-book: 46%
  • Girls who are frequent readers: 36%
  • Boys who are frequent readers: 32%
  • Parents who want their kids to read more: 80%.

That’s up from 25 per cent of kids in 2010 and marks a significant new market for e-book publishing.

The findings also highlight the potential for e-books to motivate boys to read more, with one in four boys who has read an e-book saying he is now reading more books for fun. About half of parents (49 per cent) said they did not believe their children read enough for fun.

Only 32 per cent of boys said they were frequent readers, while 36 per cent of girls said they read frequently.

Among girls, that marks a drop in the number of children reading books for fun, with more girls turning to social media or cellphones to spend time. The frequent readers said they would read more often if they had greater access to e-books.

The children agreed that e-books are better than print books when they do not want their friends to know what they are reading, and when they are travelling. But that doesn’t mean they are turning away from print books.

Children still preferred print books for reading at bedtime or sharing a book with friends. And of the kids who’d read e-books, 80 per cent said they still turned to print books for fun reading.