SmileTutor Blog Parents Teaching Tips Ebooks vs. Printed Books: Which Will Benefit Your Child More?

Ebooks vs. Printed Books: Which Will Benefit Your Child More?

Digital textbooks are becoming common in the classroom nowadays.

If you are going to buy books for your child, you have quite a lot of options to choose from. Some believe that digital books are better than printed books considering that they are cheaper and lasts forever. However, some still believe paperback books are essential for your children to develop a reading habit in the long run.

So, which type of book is the best option for your child? Printed books or E-books? Here is a quick guide to see each type’s benefits to help you decide:

Pros of Digital Books

  • Versatile

Digital books offer an easier way to consolidate multiple ebooks into one device that parents can bring around everywhere to increase reading time.

These books can also cater to a child’s reading level and style while still keeping up with their peers. As they get used to reading with you, they will also learn how to read on their own.

  • Interactive

Digital books are designed not just to be an alternative to printed books, but also to make reading more fun for its readers. Some digital books come with mini-games, animations, and even additional resources so young readers can keep up with their studies.

Exclusive offer for first-time customers only!
Get 15% discount off your first lesson and no agency fees! Choose from a selection of reliable home tutors and keep learning even while at home. Claim this promotion today.

Several studies have shown that digital books that contain audio and animations enabled younger children to remember words better than when they read traditional books. 

Another advantage of having a digital text is that readers can zoom in on the words that they want to focus on with a single touch. They can also highlight digitally the important phrases using a built-in tool, instantly hear how the words are being pronounced and save them for easy reference.

  • Introductory to New Words

When children read from their digital books, they are more inspired to read because the book will highlight the new words that they are seeing for the first time. This allows them to remember the words far easier than printed books. Also, they can even get a digital reward when they manage to finish the book just like a gaming app.

In traditional books, they will have to keep repeating and rewriting to remember the new words. There is also no bonus nor reward at the end of printed books, which can be quite boring for some children to pursue.

Pros of Printed Books

  • Focus the child’s attention

When you give your child a tablet to read their e-books, chances are, they will get distracted with the apps and other games installed in it. They will also become fixated on the bonus content in the e-books rather than focusing on the important text or story.

With printed books, your child will be able to focus more on the things they are reading and comprehend the content better.

  • Cultivate Reading Habits

On the other hand, printed books can help develop reading habits in children, especially when parents read books to them.

Storytelling using printed books can help children learn the importance of books and also encourage them to read on their own. It also is a great bonding activity between the parents and the child.

  • Hands-on experience

Although digital books can also promote reading, children won’t learn the enjoyment of turning a page of a book they really like. A printed book has a different kind of whiff that makes reading a memorable experience too.

Also, these type of books helps readers to stay grounded to the real world because they can put it down easily, unlike if they use tablets or mobile phones for reading which they can be glued to all day.

How to Choose a Good Quality E-book

If you are considering getting your child an e-book, here are the things you need to look for to see if the e-book is fit for your child.

Child-Directed Action

Some e-books come with pop-ups, especially if you only have a trial version of the book.

Parenting is hard, don’t do it alone
Receive weekly parenting tips, latest MOE updates, and how to prepare your child for examinations.
You have successfully joined our subscriber list.

There are also e-books which come with automatic pop-ups and appear when the reader reaches a certain part of the story. But, if the e-book says it has child-directed action features, this will allow your child to focus on what they are reading without getting distracted with the pop-ups.

This will also give your child more control over what they are reading, and click on the effects and additional features when they want to.

Vocabulary Boosters

One of the major features you should also look for in e-books is if they have vocabulary boosters, one of the ways to increase your child’s word range. Vocab boosters in e-books vary and one example could be animations showing a specific word.

For instance, the word they are reading is “running” and the animation will show a person running. Some e-books may even have rough sketches included which can give the reader an idea of what the word is about.

Video That Doesn’t Distract

Some e-books maximise their format by adding extra features such as videos, animations, and images. If the e-book you are considering has a video extra, try to make sure that the video is related to the topic that your child is reading.

For example, if they are reading a story about how plants grow, the video that is included in that book should showcase how different plants grow.

Clear Visual Clues

Finally, there should also be clear visual clues in the book which will highlight the words as the child reads. Some e-books may have this feature and even come with audio playback for children to copy as they read aloud each word.

You should also check if the e-book you are getting for your child comes with links to other free resources like these so your child can have more materials to study after they finish the book.


Regardless of which type of book you choose for your children, they will still learn lots of lesson for every book they read. As they grow older, they will become more proficient with their reading skills, enhance and expand their vocabulary, and learn more knowledge about the world around them.

As parents, make sure to take your time to observe and to ask your kids about the books they are reading. This will give you an idea on how their reading skill progresses and also, it can be a good time to bond and share the new knowledge that they have.

For further reading activities, check out these articles:

Ways to Increase My Child’s Reading Speed
8 Weeks Program to Increase Independent Reading Habits in Primary School Kids



Rum Tan

Rum Tan is the founder of SmileTutor and he believes that every child deserves a smile. Motivated by this belief and passion, he works hard day & night with his team to maintain the most trustworthy source of home tutors in Singapore. In his free time, he writes articles hoping to educate, enlighten, and empower parents, students, and tutors. You may try out his free home tutoring services via or by calling 6266 4475 directly today.