Should a child have a kindle?

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Recently a blogger I know wrote about kindles and how she would never have EVER one. Her arguments ranged from they didn’t smell or feel like books and they couldn’t be shared in the way physical books can. She had quite a few people agree with her post and write nostalgically and sentimentally about books they had loved.

Obviously I completely adore real, physical books.

Over the last 3 years I have written several hundred book reviews on here and each one has enriched my life in some way or other. I love to read book I sin the bath, curled up in bed. I love looking at book covers and wondering about what lies beneath.

My son squirrels books under his bed, some have got a  bit of jam or chocolate smeared in them and  the occasional scribble but I think that is rather cute, it shows they have been enjoyed.  You can’t have a lift the flap Kindle book can you or a GIGANTIC book on Kindle or a magnet book.

For myself I love the fact that some of my books were read by my Grandma and she turned their pages, or that my Grandad inscribed the inside front cover. I love that some have bits of sand in or smell of sunscreen and that some have been passed from my childhood to my children.

But I love e readers too

I love them because you can carry lots of books about with you  without breaking your back or your bag! I love that you can download a book in an instant rather than waiting for the post or the shops to open. I love you can access blogs and ebooks. I also love that you can slide an e reader in your handbag forget about it and then whenever you have a moment to spare you have something to hand to read for you or your kids. That’s fabulous.

The Kindle Fire from Argos brings an even more technologically advanced way to read  bringing colour, interactivity, sound effects and animation in your books. You can also get films, web email and apps. It is a pretty awesome device.

For kids  this simple devicee can provide lots and lots of entertainment in just one item which is great (though will they be keener to play games than read?)

I also think it is importnat for children to understand technology young…it is going to be a huge part of their future. It is also a greener option to own an e reader and to prevent more and more books being made and more paper being needed.  So yes I am all for e readers and kids having them.

But, I do love books.

There has to be a least a few special books that don’t get bought on a e reader but that get to be handled and truly adored. There will always be a space and a place for real books.

 

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  1. I love books too… of all kinds. As a librarian and teacher it is my joy to connect kids with literature in any form available. Although for many of us, the paper books that we grew up with are imbued with such comfort and nostalgia, that we will never quite give them up, still, we must embrace the advantages of ebooks. I work in an international school in Tokyo, where most of our students are bi-lingual and some try-lingual. English is a second language for many, and they struggle with pronunciation. I encourage these students to borrow audio books from our library as many do not have native English-speaking parents.

    Recently, I published a book of my own on the iTunes bookstore and was amazed to see how much the students appreciated the narration feature. When the “Read-To-Me” function is selected, each word is highlighted as the narrator’s voice speaks it. (One must tap the screen to bring up the menu at the top, and click on the speaker icon.) The English-language learners, along with the native speakers, were very enthusiastic about the built-in dictionary. “That is so cool!” gushed one third grader… which is an unusual comment to hear from any student about a dictionary.

    So, the advantages of digital books cannot be ignored. Yes, there is a glut of app-books that are merely vehicles for games which can keep a child mindlessly occupied for hours, but there are real books out there too, that should not be discounted merely because they lack the pulp and presence of traditional paper books.

    - Ruth Gilmore Ingulsrud, author of “Princess Ramona, Beloved of Beasts” Direct Link: http://bit.ly/PIscWi 
    (Copy and paste link into your browser to find book on the iTunes Bookstore.)
    Ruth Ingulsrud recently posted..Making the Second Grade BuzzMy Profile

  2. Kerry says:

    I agree that there is a space for both. Baba has his own books, however he also has some things read to him from a kindle, especially when we are out and waiting for something, either on a train for instance then I can read a book to him on the go and not have to worry about what I am carrying. I think that it is important for him to experience them both, however you can never beat a brand new book, or a lift the flap book! xx
    Kerry recently posted..Baba’s Learning To WriteMy Profile

  3. Galina V says:

    Personally I would also agree with the other blogger, though I am not sure who it is, that real books can never subsitute ebooks, as reading the ebooks doesn’t involve all the sensory pleasures of touching the paper, admiring the illustrations, etc etc But ebooks are here and they have their place. As you say, when you’re travelling, it’s so much easier to carry a Kindle or ipad. I tend to read the ipad in bed when my little man is asleep, I can read in comfort of the bed without the light on, and that’s great. But I do love real books and will keep buying them.
    Galina V recently posted..Orange Polenta CakeMy Profile

  4. Wendy says:

    Hi all, This is such an interesting topic, particularly as a former teacher who is verykeen to get children engaged in reading.

    My eldest son (now 10) took some persuading to start reading by himself at about the age of 6 or 7 although a summer in a hammock in France with a couple of Secret Sevens did the trick for him. It was just a case of us ploughing through different genres together until we found something that really got his imagination going. Since then he hasn’t stopped and reads prolifically.

    My daughter on the other hand was more challenging. She loves stories but was much more interested in being read to or listening to a story tape. All good stuff but limiting for lots of reasons…until last summer, when she was 8 and we ran out of books to share so downloaded a book onto the Ipad for her…she was off. Suddenly the right book at the right time on a device that she enjoyed using kick started her.

    And now she’s happy to read both on the KIndle or a paper book. Her first words as we started the new term in September were ‘mummy, great news! The library has an entire series of Malory Towers!” Hurray!

    So that leaves number 3…

    Anyway, I’m a big fan of the Kindle and think that it’s definitely part of a strategy to get kids reading…especially on holidays where everything is a bit more relaxed, there’s more time to share a book and discuss it.

    i think it’s my turn now to get a Kindle :) !

    Wendy

  5. Dee M. says:

    I think Kindle should just be a supplement and not a substitute for actual books. Nothing beats book hunting and bringing books along to pass time. It’s a wonder to suddenly realise that your books have been with you for years when you notice the dog ears, the coffee stains, and the random tear marks during very emotional chapters. :)

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