E-books fail

Technology has its place and I’m grateful to its additions in my life.  Even e-books have their place.  I think they are especially fantastic for storing reference materials or bulky multi-volume sets that hog up precious real estate on your bookshelves.  I do not believe and will not ever believe that e-books can be a good substitute for children’s picture books.  At best they are a tolerable second choice.  But that’s only if extenuating circumstances make the primary bound picture books unavailable for whatever reason.

Turns out that new research mostly agrees with me.

“This whole explosion of e-books has been great, and we love seeing what’s happening with the innovation, but now it’s time to start thinking more purposefully and thoughtfully into what goes into the creation of an e-book.”

I would add to the parents who remark that a child is more “engaged” with e-books than regular books this: Of course they are!  What kid doesn’t like stimulation in that way?!  However, books are like food are like toys are like anything in a child’s life:  when you feed them a steady diet of something that is always taking their taste buds to the next level… or that is always doing the playing for the child with new tricks and sounds and movements… that their appetites become deadened.  They resist what is simple.  They are bored with carrot sticks or building blocks or stories like The Wind in the Willows because they’ve become desensitized to the excitement of simple pleasures.  They are hungry for better, faster, more explosive, more gimmicks, more, more, more.    

The super exciting flavor blasted junk foods…
Or the baby doll who does all the imagining for you…

And so… that is why I don’t think story books need sound effects or interactive games with which to distract them.  We wonder why on earth children are suffering from attention deficits more and more as time goes on.  Well, I’m no expert but part of the answer seems obvious to me.  Consider what you want your children to focus on.  Consider the ways you whet their appetites: in what they play with, in what they eat, and in what they read.