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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Not what, but how

Despite the proliferation of digital devices, children prefer paper books, a study shows
Research shows children prefer printed books to e-books. Delores Johnson / The National
Research shows children prefer printed books to e-books. Delores Johnson / The National

We often discuss how electronic devices are pulling children away from books and how we are raising a generation that doesn’t understand the value of words printed on the page. But new research suggests that this is not necessarily the case.

It found that children who have access to e-readers such as iPads and Kindle tend not to use them for reading. Even children who read daily didn’t use electronic devices when they wanted to sit down with a good book. The researchers pointed out that access to these devices can actually impede children’s reading.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, chose to read from a traditional book to children when he appeared on the Arabic language Sesame Street television programme recently. He tweeted that his “participation in the show was to urge children to read more”.

His appearance on the show also illustrates that while technology may change, you can’t beat the power of a good book.