Are ebooks and audiobooks as good as print books?

There isn't a lot of research about the impact of ereading on kids. In general, if your kids are reading -- and not getting distracted by the highly interactive features some ebooks have -- then you should encourage them no matter which format they prefer.

Some useful guidance about how ereading affects kids comes from a study by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center:

  • If your goal is literacy-building, choose basic ebooks and printed books.
  • To engage reluctant readers, choose enhanced books with multimedia features.
  • To help English-language learners, kids with special needs, and busy kids who don't have a lot of time, opt for audiobooks.

Reading is the one activity that's consistently cited as universally beneficial for all aspects of kids' lives. Providing a broad selection of both print and electronic books is probably the best route toward general literacy skills.

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Adult written by echo82

The standard black and white e-books ( I have only used kindle ) are in some ways better than print books. I can check out books from the library right away. Plus the extras like the dictionary really enhance my reading.
Kid, 12 years old

Standard e-books are as good as print. Audiobooks are good to listen to while multitasking or resting. Multimedia e-books have little value (other than eye-candy). In my opinion, the future of literature is in e-books, but print is nice too.
Teen, 14 years old written by LostInPLace

They can be good, but i would encourage the use of libraries and physical copies, just for a better feel. But having some audiobooks/ebooks is fine.