Friday, May 4, 2012

One Thing a Kindle Can't Do

The other day I had an online chat with a few of my favorite moms. We bemoaned the fact that our kids didn't read as much as we used to when we were kids, thus proving that yes, I am really old now.

I notice that my daughter does tend to read if - and this is very important - if I myself pick up a book in her presence. At the moment that book is Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, so it is a damn heavy book to pick up.

As with swimming, and I bet with riding her bike at last, if Mom does it then Kid will, too. So I just have to learn to step away from the laptop and the iPad and the iPhone and the iPod and read, read, read. Those flipping pages seems to waft some magical gas in Kid's direction and before you know it, she is reading Missy, An Abandoned Kitten. She goes for books about cute animals, and yes, diabetics are not allowed to read that story. Or even look at the cover.

Here's the thing. If I were reading Quicksilver on my Kindle, which would be much more convenient and lighter, and I think it would relieve my back pain too, then my kid would not KNOW that I was reading. It would look like I was on just another device.

And, let's face it, a Kindle does more than showcase books. You can surf the Internet, play games... I had someone tell me that they use their Kindle for everything except books. I'm not judging, just saying.

As I and countless others have said, Kindles are great, but print rocks too. A print book does nothing but lie there and be a book. You can't text from it, set up a soundtrack or play Temple Run. And isn't that fantastic, in a minimalist sort of way? 

I love my Kindle (which I host on my iPad) but it can't smell like parchment and old leather. It can't make that riffling sound as I look for my place. It's techie and cool, but it's not magic. 



Johanna Garth said...

So true. I've always read the most important factor in determining whether your kids like to read depends on whether or not they see you reading!

Peter Johnstone said...

After a while of reading to mine, then reading around them, we reached the stage where i started to catch them reading rather than watching telly. Now you have to prise books from their fingers. Don't worry, they'll get it

west_2552 said...

Kids do follow your example. Even as they get older. And...... they listen to your advice. Amazing. So, guess we all need to heed our actions and set a good example. (I know what you mean about books....)

Angela said...

Amen...Love this post :)

Alison DeLuca said...

Thanks, everyone! Yes, since I have put away my electronics in my daughter's presence, I've seen a lot more reading. It's more stuff in the line of Puffy, the Lost Poodle, but I'll take it!

laura thomas said...

Hi Alison. I agree that as long as they are reading it is all good! Great post. thanks.

jenny milchman said...

Love your photo, Allie! I also love magic versus tech description. Both have their place, but I do hope we don't lose the smell, the sight, the feel, and as you say--especially the ability to do one thing and one thing only.

What luxury, that.

LibraryGirl said...

Great post! This is so true. My daughter does love when we read stories together but she also loves to play on my laptop. We are really trying to put away the electronics more around her and focus on other more active family activities :-)