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There's More to Read Than Books!

As a parent or a caregiver, you likely spend time encouraging your child to read books to build their literacy skills and knowledge. At Calgary Reads, we are frequently asked how to encourage a child to read if they reject stories or chapter books. We also get asked if children can build their skills through the use of technology and e-Books. 

While Calgary Reads will always be a proponent of the tactile and kinaesthetic experience of holding, seeing, smelling, and interacting with a print book, we recognize there is a place for technology, too.

Many studies have looked at the role and impact of digital books and e-Readers in children’s reading success. As you might imagine, the research varies. While there is a strong movement to limit children’s use of electronic devices and screen time in general, many tech-savvy parents still prefer and value print books for their children. Other studies indicate that children who read more than the average child will read anything, anywhere: books, cereal boxes, road signs, and electronic screens.

Like most things in life, balance is key. Encourage children to build their reading interest and skills through a variety of mediums, including print and e-Options. To expose your child to new vocabulary and more complex ideas, keep reading aloud together - even after your child learns how to read!

How many of these forms of print do you read with your children?

  • Comics and graphic novels are a great way to teach your children about the back-and-forth of dialogue.

  • Magazines for children cover many topics like space, animals, or inventions. Tap into your child’s interests as a way to make reading appealing.

  • Travel brochures and atlases can inspire your child to plan vacations and learn about new places.

  • Instruction manuals help children learn how things work, like cars and appliances. Manuals can build your child’s vocabulary, too.

  • Sports programs help your child read about their favorite athletes and teams.

  • Poetry is fun to share and rhyming is an important skill for reading; write your own poems together, too.

  • Recipes let you take turns reading the ingredients and instructions. It is real-life reading for children of any age.

  • Play scripts help build reading skills as children explore different characters’ emotions and actions.

A few e-insights from recent research studies:

  • Children love e-Books! Anything children love, they will do more often. E-Books are increasingly affordable. Nearly all children have access to digital literature.

  • Boys, who historically spend less time reading paper books than girls, prefer e-Books to paper books. Maybe this will show a trend toward higher reading for boys?

Calgary Reads innovates and inspires the reading revival, because we all have a role to play in creating a thriving community where children can read with confidence and joy! For videos, resources, and games to help build the joy of reading, visit


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