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E-Books vs. Print: Things Parents Need to Know

A young child reading a physical book

Parents naturally want their children to be prodigious. Often they’ll undertake the task of reading nighttime stories to their children as they tuck them into bed. Moreover, parents will do whatever they can to ensure their child develops remarkable literacy skills earlier in life. According to research, early readers have a cognitive advantage over children who didn’t start reading until later. Children who start reading earlier are not only likely to do better in school, but they also have more brain development and a greater understanding of linguistics, resulting in improved language skills.


In addition, these improved language skills lead many schools to classify these children as gifted. Many schools have advanced programs or provide enhanced education for talented children. Schools design these programs to ensure the coursework intellectually stimulates their young minds. Moreover, studies also show that an early start in reading gives children a lasting advantage. Precocious readers can comprehend text quicker than those who didn’t start reading early.


Naturally, as a parent, you’ll want to start reading to your children. Moreover, you’ll also want to encourage them to become avid readers. In the old days, parents would go to the local bookstore and buy several age-appropriate books for their children to breeze through. However, today there are several different ways your child can begin reading. Electronic books, also commonly abbreviated as E-Books, are rapidly gaining steam for their convenience. In addition, E-books are often cheaper than their physical counterparts due to the lack of printing and shipping. The availability of options results in a dilemma for parents: should you opt for E-books or physical books?


E-books or Physical Books?


Different schools of thought have conflicting opinions regarding the best reading option for young children. Let’s assess both choices.




Aside from being a more cost-effective option, E-books hold some advantages that print books cannot offer. E-books are generally more interactive, which benefits young readers. If children come across a word that they don’t understand, they can tap on the word on their E-reader and look it up. Many E-books also have accompanying artwork and animations that can help augment a child’s understanding of the story and the words.


In addition, the University of Akron’s Center for Literacy has been studying how to integrate E-readers into classrooms. During their studies, they found that E-books can significantly boost reading skills. The researchers conducted an experiment where they asked kindergarten children to read a story before coming to school. One-third of the children understood the words in the story. The research team then asked the children to re-read the story on an E-reader with a grown-up supervising them. The percentage of children who understood the story shot up to 54 percent. While it’s still unclear whether their reading skills increased because of an E-reader or due to the help of a grown-up, the contribution of E-readers in developing children’s reading skills is apparent.


Print Books


On the other hand, the advantages of print books are well-known. Print books provide a hands-on experience that E-books cannot offer, making them unique in their regard. Moreover, print books are also devoid of any distractions that come with E-books. E-books require E-readers, and many E-readers have access to the web and applications that can distract your child from reading. Furthermore, interacting with physical books can help children develop reading skills that seamlessly transfer to electronic screens. Physical books enable children to feel the paper in their hand, learn to turn pages, create bookmarks, etc. These are all invaluable skills that children require to succeed in their later lives.

E-Books vs. Print: Things Parents Need to Know

Developing Your Child’s Literacy and Communication Skills


Whether your child prefers an E-book or a physical book doesn’t matter because both forms can help them become voracious readers. If you like to buy children’s books online, we can help you.


Cat Fish Waiter is an affordable online bookstore that can help your children develop literacy and communication skills. We have a range of multilingual storybooks for kids, allowing them to learn three different languages via a single book. These books are known as “The Cat, the Fish, and the Waiter.” In addition to our hardcover children’s storybooks, we also have a children’s stories CD collection that you can purchase.


Visit our website or contact us to learn more.

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