Print Books vs. E-Books

The ASHA Leader highlighted recent evidence that suggests an advantage of traditional books over electronic books. A study conducted at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Munzer TG, et al. Pediatrics. March 25, 2019, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-2012) found that parents and toddlers verbalized and interacted more while reading traditional print books as opposed to e-books. The interactions noted included commenting on the illustrations, asking and answering questions, and discussing life experiences that related to the story. While families also interacted when reading enhanced e-books (with sound effects and animation), it was significantly less collaborative than with traditional print books. In fact, the conversation while reading e-books often revolved around the device itself and the associated effects as opposed to the story and how the readers related to it. Reading aloud together is a crucial activity for child development, as it increases early literacy skills and expands their understanding of language meaning and structure. This is important research to keep in mind when selecting books and activities for toddlers