Column: E-readers should not replace books

Today’s column is a look at the importance of printed books over the convenience of technology. Also, how owning books can help children succeed for a lifetime.

Book Matters: E-readers should not replace books

Happy reading!


8 thoughts on “Column: E-readers should not replace books

  1. Will – I do not, at this time, own an e-reader because I choose not to. I love my books. I have borrowed my mother-in-law's Kindle and played with many, but I simply prefer books. I'm sure at some point I will own one, but it will only add to my collection and never replace my books.Thanks for the comment.Teri

  2. I read on the kindle. Before I bought a kindle I would read dead-tree books. I can say that words, whether they're read on a screen or a page, can move and enlighten. E-book readers aren't the death knell of reading. If anything, they are a new dawn.

  3. A couple of things. First, I believe that The Salt Lake Tribune is Utah's largest paper, not the Deseret News. If I'm wrong, forgive me. Next, I bought a Nook reader in late February 2011. Since then I have read 31 e-books — books that I probably would not have read without the e-reader. Barnes & Noble keeps track of my reading preferences, and sends me helpful reading suggestions. My eyesight is not great, and reading a book requires strong light. With the Nook reader, I can adjust font, background, brightness. It make reading much more enjoyable. I do miss flipping through pages and sections of books though.

  4. I too love books and I have a 3000+ volume library. I believe you miss the point; while the printing press was disruptive to the status quo, it was also a great leap forward. E-books are no different. It is not the form information/content arrives in, it is the information. My grandchildren love e-books and reading on the computer. They also read well above their grade level along with better spelling and comprehension than their classmates. I find it very convenient to read on my smartphone or computer when I travel or while I wait for meetings, etc. I find I'm reading more than ever.

  5. I liked the article and I like the reasons you wrote it– get kids reading more books by having them accessible by buying them and having them around the house. I think there is one thing that's mischaracterized though, and that's that all books cost basically the same on E-readers vs. printed copies. Many books you can get for free on the e-reader (stuff in the public domain: sherlock holmes, tolstoy, don quixote, mark twain, charles dickens) and many books you can also buy for as little as $1 from the Amazon store because many authors self publish their own books. I just thought I'd mention that little correction, but don't get me wrong I think most kids would benefit greatly by having more books around the home to read (or have their parents take them weekly to the library like my mom used to when I was a kd).

  6. Wow, I just read your column and then all of the comments, and I just have to say I totally agree with you about all you said in your column. My house is filled with books, and my kids pull them off the shelf and just randomly look through them. There is no way that they would be able to do that a with an e-reader. They all know that this family values reading simply by the fact that they are surrounded by them, also not something they can do with an e-reader.And I did have to smile last Thanksgiving when my step-mother brought her Kindle along with her on vacation because "it is just so much easier to travel with than big bulky books," and then my Dad ended up spending an entire morning of his vacation on the phone with customer support because the thing had frozen up and wouldn't even turn on.

  7. I started reading a book on my iPhone recently and have loved it–it's been great for research on a documentary film I'm directing because of the note taking abilities and I can always read on the go. But here's why I think Teri is right: you can't substitute a physical place. Something happens to our imagination and curiosity when we can pull at random from a book shelf and wander from aisle to aisle in a store or library. A child is less likely to feel the power of discovery scrolling through thumbnails or search pages. We're physical beings occupying physical spaces and reading seems just a little more special when you share your space with all those good ideas and stories.

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