Where Do Kids Find the Books They Read for Pleasure? Libraries, Amazon

Despite their waning influence among children when it comes to book recommendations, libraries are still the No. 1 place kids acquire the books they read for pleasure, according to a new report from Bowker Market Research.

At the same time, libraries are no longer the top place where kids discover new books. Recommendations from friends and family was the No. 1 in this latest iteration of Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age, the report presented at the Publishers Launch Children’s Publishing Goes Digital in New York*.

The top six places kids up to thirteen-years-old get the books they read for pleasure:

1. Public Library
2. Amazon.com
3. Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club
4. Barnes & Noble
5. School Library
6. Scholastic Book Clubs

Meanwhile, where children discover what they want to read next is changing. Perhaps in a nod to the current online and social era, recommendations from friends and family is now the No. 1 way that kids discover new books.

Top three places kids get recommendations for new books:

1. Friends and family
2. Bookstore browsing
3. Library


Other Interesting Tidbits From the Report

— While over 40% of parents with young children say they read ebooks, a number that is increasing, some two-thirds of them still prefer their kids read print books, a number that has remained stead over the past three iterations of the report.

— Most kids say that books are equally important to other media. They like to balance media. Males are more likely to say that books are less important to them.

— Where do teens go to get books? 1. Amazon (increasingly popular); 2. Bookstores (decreasing popularity); 3. Libraries (decreasing popularity).


Conclusions From Presenters

Bowker Market Research’s Carl Kulo and Bookigee’s Kristen McLean, founder of publishing tech start-up Bookigee, drew some conclusions from the data:

— The children’s market is extremely stable. Changes are incremental.

— Kids are omnivorous media consumers.

— Marked decline in bookstore and library influence.

The Bowker report was based on an online survey conducted in the fall of 2012 among 1,000 parents of children aged 0-to-6, 1,000 parents of children aged 7-to-13 and 1,000 parents with teen kids, thirteen-to-eighteen.

* This event was sold out. For those who missed out, Digital Book World Conference + Expo offers an afternoon of children’s publishing-focused programming tomorrow at the main conference. Register online here or show up at the Hilton New York Hotel to register at the location.


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