Book discovery is a pressing issue in the print and digital world. Major online stores are hard pressed to keep up with the sheer amount of new content being published on a daily basis and the brick and motor locations tend to focus on bestsellers and adult content. Kids have the hardest time in discovering new authors and new books to read because no one exclusively caters to their needs.
I remember when I was a kid most of the books that I found where part of the Scholastic Book catalog that my parents would order and when the book fair came to my school, they would all be waiting for me. My literary pursuits did not go beyond the latest Hardy Boys mystery or what the local grocery store had in the young adults section. There was certainly no blitz media campaigns that modern books enjoy, such as the Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Harry Potter, which most kids have read.
The books listed above are all fine examples of the types of content that kids are devouring at a record pace. It helps that Hollywood as loaned the assist by turning these all into amazing films that even adults have seen in droves. The big problem is where do kids go next after reading the books or watching the films? Will they discover Ender’s Game or read the Divergent series? Online stores have very basic recommendation engines “if you liked this, check out these titles”, but brick and motor stores don’t make it easy at all.
Scholastic is trying to make sense of the concerns that kids aged 6-18 are facing when trying to find the next great read or what they look for in books. 73% of this demographic said I would read more, if I could find more books that I liked, while 70% want books that make me laugh.
In early January Scholastic intends on releasing a massive reading report on children’s reading habits, that should give bookstores an idea about their needs and desires. In the meantime, here is a small infographic that gives a bit of a clue on some of their findings.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.