I’m at the 2012 YALSA Literature Symposium and learning a lot of interesting information anout kids and libraries, books and teen appeal. Some of it is not what I would have expected, but once I heard it things seemed pretty obvious. For example, teens/tweens using eReaders:
Yes, more kids are using them. At least for a little while. But many school and public librarians are finding that after an initial transition, the novelty of using an eReader fades with many teens. They come to view those devices and their attempts to make eReading similar to reading a physical book as things for “old people.”
Instead, teens are more comfortable reading from a computer screen or from their phones. My eyes hurt at the very thought of using a phone screen to read a book, but it makes sense that kids would prefer that. Their phones are always with them, and well on the way to becoming the “everything device.” They don’t expect eReading to be the same as book reading.
On the other hand, the tactile nature of a physica book still appeals to young readers. Teens and tweens still like to curl up with a good book in their hands. But if it’s electronic, they want to use their phone. Especially since that phone or computer get them to some of the most fun-filled stuff on the web – FANDOM.
More on FANDOM in the next conference report.