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Books

Do men or women buy more books for their kids?

The average parent and child each devote about five hours a week to reading.

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family, hygge and people concept - happy mother, father and little daughter reading book with torch light in kids tent at night at home
(Ground Picture via Shutterstock)

More than half (55%) of parents foresee their child having a career in a creative field.

A recent survey of 2,000 parents with school-age kids found seven in 10 (71%) parents think their child is more creative than they were at their age — and books may be the driving force.

Half of parents said they purchase books for their child once or a few times a month.

And when it comes to books, it seems father knows best. Men are more likely than women to buy their kids books once or a few times a month (54% vs. 44%).

The average child has about 26 books, 21 of which are their own choosing. Only 6% of the average kid’s book collection is made up of required reading for school.

Sixty-two percent of kids have their own bookshelf, and nearly half of it (48%) is full.

But there may be more to add to that soon, as three in four (76%) parents said their kid is eagerly anticipating filling their shelf with new books.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of ThriftBooks, the survey also found parents were most likely to enjoy sharing their favorite books with their kids (58%), more so than TV shows (50%), toys (47%) and places or experiences (44%).

Gen Z parents in particular said they enjoy showing their kids their most loved books from their childhood, more than any other age group (76%).

Overall, parents and kids both enjoy reading often — 65% of parents do so, and the same amount said their kids do, as well.

To that end, the average parent and child each devote about five hours a week to reading.

As for favorite genres, about a third (32%) of parents said their kids enjoy adventure books. Other popular picks included fantasy (27%), fiction (27%) and mystery (27%).

And with 69% of parents saying their child has a lot of creative energy, there’s always a search for additional outlets to put it to use. Thirty-seven percent of kids channel their artistic talents by drawing, while 32% write.

“There are many ways both parents and educators can continue to foster a child’s love of reading through the years, from reading out loud together to having kids bring their favorite stories to life by drawing them or acting them out,” said a spokesperson for ThriftBooks.

Stocking their kids’ shelves with new favorites can also keep the momentum going. Fifty-four percent buy educational books or workbooks for their child, with 48% of them doing so year-round.

More than a quarter (26%) of parents also want to encourage their child to read more informational books.

Regardless of genre, parents’ top three sources for finding new book recommendations for their kid are friends and family (32%), book sites like Goodreads and Book Riot (30%) and online searches (28%).

The poll also asked kids whether their love of reading inspires them to become an author when they’re older and found 68% answered in the affirmative.

“Any genre of books can easily become a teaching tool. By taking kids’ reading preferences into account, educators can create a robust library in and outside the classroom to turn students from readers into book lovers,” the spokesperson added.

KIDS’ FAVORITE BOOKS, ACCORDING TO PARENTS

  • “Dragon Hoops” by Gene Luen Yan
  • “Beauty and the Beast”
  • Bible stories
  • Disney's “Frozen” collection
  • “I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast” by Michael Holland
  • Books by Judy Blume
  • “Naruto”
  • “The Baby-Sitters Club” by Ann M. Martin
  • Poetry books
  • The “Wings of Fire” book series by Tui T. Sutherland

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