Book Format Preferences of Children and Teenagers
Abstract: This article examines the reading practices among the youngest readers in the age groups of children and teenagers. The main purpose of the study is to identify their preferences concerning printed and electronic books. The extensive use of electronic devices by these two age groups could lead to the hypothesis of a steady transition from paper to screen in their reading attitudes. The present research aims to verify whether this hypothesis is objectively valid for the youngest readers within the children’s age group (up to 12 years) and the juvenile age group (from 13 to 18 years old). The territorial coverage includes the United States and key European book markets during the second decade of our century. The main findings are surprising. Children’s and juvenile literature is one of the weakest categories of the e-book market. The analysis of the reading attitudes surveys and the market data presented here rejects the hypothesis that a transition from paper to screen is taking place in book consumption by children and teenagers. Their reading practices reflect a tendency of integrated use of both print and electronic book formats. This article formulates the conclusion that print and electronic formats complement each other and thus enlarge and enrich the book reading practices of these two age groups.
Keywords: book publishing, reading practices, book market, print books, e-books
Georgi Alexandrov is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski.” He teaches an MA course in Book Publishing and seminars in Economics of Book Publishing. He completed a PhD dissertation on intermedia relations between print books and electronic books. His professional background includes publishing experience as Executive Director of Egmont Bulgaria, General Manager for South Eastern Europe of Egmont media group, and founder of Knigopis Publishing House.