Are you and your kids audiobook fans? If not, what are you waiting for? I must admit I needed some convincing but now we're absolute converts. We are evangelical about physical books, there's nothing better in our eyes, I love an ebook for convenience and to help my wallet (can't beat a 99p bargain!) but audio is a great complementary way to feed our book hunger.
And my family is not alone. The National Literacy Trust has revealed new research supported by Audible, which shows that one in four children and young people listen to audiobooks, and that there were a number of new listeners during lockdown. One in ten of those surveyed said they downloaded an audiobook for the first time during lockdown, and a further one in ten downloaded more.
Almost 50% of the kids surveyed (42,502) said they had enjoyed podcasts and audiobooks in the last year, with one in four listening to just podcasts and one in four who listen to audiobooks or audiobooks with podcasts. One in five said that audiobooks and podcasts got them interested in reading books. And hurrah for that!
The findings demonstrate the power of audiobooks to engage reluctant, struggling and developing readers, allowing them to access a wide range of stories and to listen to stories beyond their reading level.
NLT chief executive Jonathan Douglas said: "We know that audiobooks, which many access for free online, have provided a lifeline to countless children and young people. Last year's research showed us that audiobooks can encourage positive literacy behaviours, which is immensely encouraging considering the boom in new listeners over the last year."
This is further cemented by research from The Insights Family who survey more than half a million kids and parents every year. In an ever-shifting landscape it has never been harder to understand the attitudes, behaviours, and consumption of kids, parents, and families but their unique approach provides an unrivalled 360° perspective of their lives.
In 2021, of the kids surveyed, data shows that 18% of 3-5 year olds listen to audiobooks displaying just how much audio is part of a routine for the younger kids still not able to read. It decreases slightly (14%) when we get to the 6-9s as they become more independent readers and stabilises at 15% of kids aged 10-18.
In particular the popularity of audiobooks between 10-12 years-old kids in the UK year on year has increased +40% since July 2020.
We have an audiobooks section on LoveReading4Kids and every month we select 10 books that we have enjoyed. In addition, you are able to search on the audio part of the site for any audiobook you might wish to find, and due to our partnership with audiobooks.com, you can get 3 FREE audiobooks on us.
So, whether you're an audio lover or not, remember that children’s books – even picture books – are also available as audiobooks. They're super accessible, easy to download and great to listen to at home, in the car, on holiday and in the park or even as part of your child’s bedtime routine.
So, go on, dive in, enjoy an audiobook today! And share some of your faves with us...