I read a great article recently (School Library Journal July 2014), and I wanted to share the highlights with you. Author Annie Murphy Paul listed eight reasons that print books (rather than ebooks) provide a superior reading experience, especially for young children whose literacy skills are just emerging.
- No need to make choices. The lack of hyperlinks allows total immersion in reading.
- No distractions within the text. Visual and aural gimmicks in many ebooks draw attention away from the written words.
- No Internet temptations. The only thing you can do with a paper book is read it.
- Imagination required. Young readers must mobilize their own imaginations to fill in the gaps left by authors and illustrators.
- Satisfaction of the senses. The smooth feel of the paper and the rich colors of the illustrations are lost in ebook reproductions. Plus the size is reduced to the size of the ereader screen.
- Literary attitudes. A quiet focus on words and stories rather than the fast-paced gallop of digital devices.
- Easy to share. Parent and child pause to interact with questions and comments on the story rather than to issue commands ("Swipe the page now. Don't touch that button!")
- Strong selection. Number of quality books published in paper vastly outnumbers those available in digital format.
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to hit the picture book shelves in the Kid Zone! Maybe I'll run into you there.