WASHINGTON, DC – Good news! Americans are avid readers according to a new Gallup Poll. The better news is that the great majority prefer printed books over e-books and audio books. And, nearly three quarters of respondents in the study said they favored printed books to e-books and audio books.
That is also the opinion of David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize—an award that seeks to encourage authors and publishers to produce more printed works of fiction and non-fiction for kids—that focus on American history.
“There’s nothing like the comfort of curling up with a good book, and turning paper pages at your own pace so that you can truly appreciate the content. It’s particularly important for young learners because it allows them to ‘experience’ the moment, so when they read about the people, places and events that shaped our nation they can achieve an understanding of history that they can’t get by merely memorizing names and dates. It’s the reason Dr. Bruce Cole, the former Chair of the National Foundation for the Humanities, and I decided to make the investment in creating the Prize,” says Smith who is an author and publisher.
The Gallup survey found that 53% of young adults read between one and 10 books in the past year. The Gallup report concluded, “with the advent of e-readers and tablets in the past decade, some futurists predicted the imminent extinction of printed books. It was said that the ability to download, read and store thousands of digital books on these devices would quickly reduce demand for the paper versions. However, this prophecy appears to be far from true — so far.”
The Prize was established in 2015 and almost instantly became a much-coveted award, says Smith. “We got 140 entries in less than six months. In 2016, more than a hundred submissions were received and reviewed by our distinguished panel of Judges.”
The judges for the 2017 Prize include Smith and Dr. Cole as well as Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO, New-York Historical Society, Dr. Peter Carmichael, the Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies & Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, Dr. Douglas Bradburn, author, historian and Founding Director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, John Danielson, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Education Management Corporation and Neme Alperstein, a teacher of Gifted and Talented Students in the New York City Public School system since 1987.
The award comes with a cash Prize of $13,000 to commemorate the original 13 Colonies and a medallion created by noted American artist, Clarice Smith. In addition, each year two authors receive Honorable Mention citations and, as of 2017, they will also receive cash prizes of $500 each.
“We started accepting eligible books published between July 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017 for the 2017 Prize on January 1st,” says Smith.