Books? Kindle? iPad?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 21 of #BTBC14
How do you prefer to read?  Books?  Kindle?  iPad?

Simple Answer: 
      I do not own a kindle, and I just recently purchased my own iPad, so that may change.  But, for now, books.  

More Complex Answer:
All of the above

     I am a firm believer in technology and how it enhances education and literacy.  I don't think we should put tech first, so I am not advocating buying an iPad because, among a million other things, you can read a book on it.  However, if people prefer to read on the iPad, then by all means go ahead and do it.  We have so many children who are struggling to read, or who don't have access to books that interest them, and e books could solve that.  

     This question leaves me a bit conflicted.  So, in order to help clarify my own thoughts, I did a little searching.  I did a google search for images, and a few thought provoking ones came up.   

     E-readers do seem to be more earth friendly, considering they greatly reduce the amount of paper that we need.  That saves trees.  Yeah, trees!  However, I went to Nancy Steineke's session at IRC about visual literacy, and she used some images of children in lesser developed countries sorting through e-waste to make money.  It was pretty eye opening.  She had us write "a passionate letter to Apple, outlining your position on e-waste" but had us consider multiple perspectives:  child laborer, parent of a child laborer, e-waste recycling CEO, investigative reporter, environmentalist, etc.  In the age of Common Core, I have to say her activity forcing an issue to be seen from different points of view is exactly what our kids need, and using the tech as a topic adds relevance.  It was a great session.

     This one just made me chuckle.  I always wanted a huge library with walls and walls of books.  Perhaps this is the more economical way to go in the long run.  Think about how much I will save on wall to wall shelves!  :)

     This one is great for our college students.   It was a graphic that is supposed to show how much easier it would be to have all the books for their college courses available digitally.  As long as this generation annotates text well on the e-reader, this is great news for their wallet and their back.  My book bag was so HEAVY.

     This is, I guess, the biggest reason I said "all of the above" as the more complex answer.  If people like to read on the kindle, and it gives them access to classic books like the ones above, then I am all for it!  There are many classics that I have not yet read myself, and perhaps if the thought crossed my mind to read one and all I had to do was search for it online, then I might be more likely to read some of the titles I have had on my "to read" list for a very long time.  

     My simple answer was that I like to read books, and I do hope that the children of today can be posed the same question 20 years from now.  I hope that they, too, have a choice whether they want to read paper books or e-books.  I was walking out of my son's school a few years ago, and I saw the quote above on their sign.  "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."  When I picture a kid, snuggled with their mom or dad reading a book, I see a paper book.  I see the child turning the pages for mom or dad, and being so proud of themselves.  I see a love of literacy, built around the comfort of family.  Perhaps that could be around a kindle, too.  My kids read their interactive books on the iPad, as well.  Together, we read children's books.  That is my choice.  I just hope they have a choice, too.
     Long story short, I remember the day that the final Harry Potter book was released.  I went to Barnes and Noble at midnight to get my copy.  I was surrounded by others who were just as excited as I was to see how it ended.  At the same time, though, I think we all were a little sad, too.  It was a shared experience for us, as readers, with funny Harry Potter glasses to remember it all.  I would not have had that experience if I didn't have the choose between paper book and e-reader.  I would have just downloaded it, and I wouldn't have gotten my special glasses.  (OK, my dog and I would not have gotten our special glasses.)



  1. Your visuals are thought-provoking (and amusing), and add depth to your blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I refuse to read e-books. But you are right, it is my choice. I agree that we all deserve to have that choice!