Today, I ran across a link on twitter to an article from The Atlantic: Will Children Save Printed Books? The upshot of the article (more of a blurb, really) is that kids will continue to read print rather than e-books because they do not dare do what their parents or older people do – especially since the average age of an e-reader owner is 40. (How ancient!)
This seems extremely farfetched to me. Really, books saved because kids will do ANYTHING to not be like their parents and elders? Yeah, I remember being a kid/teen, but come on!?!
However, I DO agree that children will help keep the printed book alive…but not as a way to separate themselves from their parents. I believe the printed book will endure, especially for children, because of the nature of children’s books. I have written about this before, and even now that I have a Nook Color loaded with kid’s books, I still believe children’s (print) books are not going anywhere. My son, the 2 year old book-devourer, could really care less about the books on the Nook – not even the interactive version of Go Dog, Go! No, he wants to listen to his mom or dad read to him, help turn the pages, point at things and ask what it is without the screen flicking to the next “page”. When he was younger, he loved books with movable parts and touch-and-feel aspects. Kids (and adults) love to touch, feel, even smell books, and to share that experience with others, and a tablet with a book loaded on it just is not the same thing. That is why I think print books will last.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I cannot see a total death of print, I see a mix. In my life, I read books on my Nook, read books in print, and listen to audiobooks in my car. The words are what are important, not the container.