We Are Both Right

Are Kindles Really for Reading?

reading with child

E-readers might be the new thing, but books are still king in my home. What is your child reading from these days? ©Horton Group/stock.xchng

Times change. And so do a mom’s opinions.

While I may have been Mrs. Anti-technology, my-kid-isn’t-touching-a-PS2*-and-especially-not-at-the-dinner-table just a few months ago, my stance has kind of softened since then.

It’s true that my four-year-old daughter is the reason I finally downloaded Angry Birds to my smartphone (to keep her busy during her brother’s basketball games). But she alternates between that and a math app that guides her through addition and subtraction. ¬†And yes, my nine-year-old did get a netbook for Christmas — from his grandparents. But at least now he can check his fantasy football scores without monopolizing my desktop all day Sunday. And Monday. And Thursday. (Wish I had a netbook.)

So I’ll admit, handing them a screen of their own has its perks. There’s also no denying that their generation will have to be e-literate. I consider this an orientation to all of the gizmos that we can’t yet imagine which will be running their lives, making them toast in the morning, and walking their dogs Jetsons-style.

But that’s as far as I’ll go. Some things just have to stay old-school — for now at least. Like books.

What’s up with the Kindle Fire/Nook Color gadget that all the (other) kids had on their holiday wish lists?

A reading tablet, a book disguised as a screen? Sounds pretty crafty to me. Trick the kids into reading. I dig the concept. Except that’s not exactly how it pans out.

From what I gather, the latest generation of e-readers are more like a textbook with a comic book tucked into the center. You know, the ones that kids our age used to hold up in class while trying to look studious. At least that’s the picture that came to mind after I asked one mom on Christmas Day if the new gadget her daughter was toting around was a sneaky way to get her to read more. (Wink-wink. Mom-conspiracy in play.)

“No, not really,” she said, coming clean. “There’s so much other stuff on there — e-mail, apps, whatever — that she’s not purely in it for the books.”

Ahhh. So I see.

A Kindle’s not really for reading, after all.

They fooled us again.

How about you — are you quick to respond to requests for any and all technology with your kids? Or are you kind of holding back like me, staving off the screens with a invisible force field?

*Feel free to edit out my ignorance on the PS product line. I don’t even know if PS2s are handheld. Maybe I should ask Amanda. She’s way more into tech than me.

One Response to “Are Kindles Really for Reading?”

  1. diane says:

    my husband tried to get me to buy my 8 year old the kindle fire for christmas … my response? why? she hates to read?? and the kindle fire is the perfect excuse NOT to read.
    don’t get me wrong, I am all for e-readers that are actual e-readers. I own a kindle (2nd generation) and my 12 year old does as well (3rd generation). they are NOT backlit and do not have “aps”. there are a handful of games that can be purchased, but she and I use it to … READ!
    while I love the feel of a book in my hands, and while I am drawn to books with over 800 pages, I have found sound reasoning behind e-readers. the biggest reason?? I have a CLOSET of books … all of which I have read, most I have read more than once. if we have a fire tomorrow? all those books are gone. lost forever. my kindle, OTOH, will burn up, but all of the books I have bought on it (over 800) will still be accessible to me via amazon.com.
    I don’t know about the nook (other than the fact that there was aline of people at B&N trying to RETURN them last week), but the kindle is fabulous. I love it and take it with me everywhere I go.

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