Kids Still Read

Fred Wilson has a post on his family’s media consumption in which he talks about his kids’ attitudes towards movies, TV (watched as often as not on DVD), the web, video games, radio, magazines, newspapers, and books.

For the most part it’s what I’d guess kids would be doing: watching video, playing games, spending time on Facebook. There are a few happy surprises, though. Magazines are holding their own. Hard to say how typical this is–I don’t have any insight into the health of the magazine industry–but it surprised me. I had assumed magazines were in the same world of hurt as newspapers.

Most notable, though, is that reading books is apparently alive and well at the Wilson’s: “They still read books the way we did as kids. That doesn’t seem to have changed a bit. They read them for school, they read them for entertainment, and they read them lying in bed waiting to be tired enough to turn off the lights.”

I found that absolutely uplifting, and anecdotal confirmation of something I’ve previously blogged: there is no replacement for long-form narrative text. Eventually that text may be displayed on an improved Kindle, as soon as someone (Apple or Amazon, most likely) gets it right. The exact delivery method doesn’t concern me much. But that kids still take pleasure in reading books? That concerns me greatly, and it’s great to hear of books holding their own in a home full of other glittering distractions.