Quality academic achievement is based on the development of good reading skills. Generally, reading is important for students to cope up with the evolving world of knowledge. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have vastly influenced the reading practices of students. The younger generation of the information age spends most of their time in front of screens. Due to these drastic changes in the fabric of reading, generation Z is more likely to adopt e-reading. Therefore, an empirical investigation was carried out to explore the reading habits of generation Z students. For the study, a survey-based quantitative research design was applied. Data was collected through a structured questionnaire. The population included the students of two schools - one semi-government and one private higher secondary school of the Lahore district. The sample was selected purposively. Findings revealed that generation Z students prefer to read in paper form and in the English language. On average they read for up to four hours daily, preferably at home and mostly for academic purposes. They prefer print format, however, the advantages associated with e-reading motivate them to use electronic contents. One of the noteworthy findings is that libraries (academic/public) were their least preferred place for reading and obtaining reading material. The findings of the study would help parents, educators, and publishers to take necessary measures for promoting reading habits among students. The research findings would serve as a guideline for educationists to plan education policies according to the need and preferences of the future generation and for libraries to develop user-centered library services.
Keywords: e-reading; generation Z; reading habits; Pakistan