The Power of Reading for Children
Reading is a fundamental tool that breaks down many barriers, and is the key to knowledge. A child who can read can learn about anything he or she desires. It is important for children to be encouraged to read from an early age so that they can develop their understanding of the world, explore their own creativity and be able to distinguish fiction and reality. Reading books is widely acknowledged to be a great pastime for adults and children alike. In this digital age, we are no longer restricted to carrying around and reading from physical books – we now have eBooks that provide us with the same great content and we can access a wide range of written material on the internet.
Less than two decades ago, we would have to go to our local library for information on a certain topic or find a book by our favourite author and hope that the book we’d been wanting to read would be on the shelves! Now we have the luxury of reading whenever and wherever we want and it is all accessible not only from our homes, but in our hands and pockets on a digital device such as a Phone or Tablet.
One of the great benefits of eBooks is that they are a lot more interactive than physical books. Some come as standalone apps that allow children to perform tasks and interact with characters as the story unfolds; others are designed more simply. Regardless of how eBooks are produced, the most notable advantage over printed books is that they cost a lot less; mainly due to the reduced production costs of digital books.
eBooks can be downloaded onto most computers and digital devices wherever you are. Dedicated eBook readers such as Kindle or BOOX are accessible both online and offline. You won’t have to worry about losing your eBooks because even if you were to accidentally delete them, you can easily retrieve them by downloading again at no charge.
The Hard(cover) Truth
There are lots of benefits to both hard- and soft-covered printed books. For starters, you don’t need to boot up any device or designated eBook reader to read a book and you certainly do not need to worry about your physical book running out of charge (in fact, reading a book at night will probably run your charge down!). A recent study has shown that reading a printed book at night is more conducive to a good night’s sleep as the light emitted from an eBook reader or Tablet keeps you awake longer than if you were to read a physical book.
It’s also suggested that with eBooks, readers tend to not remember events and information as much as they would when reading from print books. This is down to print books having physical pages, which can allow you memorise whereabouts you are in a book and what events have occurred in the chapters on previous pages. With eBooks you cannot physically see how far you’ve delved into a book.
The Full Story
On one hand, eBooks certainly have benefits in regards to exposing your child to technology at an early age and potentially adding an easily accessible new dimension to reading. However, physical children’s books still remain a popular choice and we honestly can’t see them being superseded in the near future. Reading from physical literature such as books, posters and letters is still important, as demonstrated by a study by Nielsen BookScan in 2014 that showed the sales of printed children’s books increased by 9.1%, picture books by 8.7%.
– Credit: David Fahrer’s Little Magic Books, If You Owned a Zoo –
It is truly evident that the importance of physical books are ever present and that parents place a high value on these. But that is not to say that eBooks have no place at story-time for children, despite being more popular with adults.
In fact Little Magic Kids, a Kickstarter project that was successfully backed last year, came up with an innovative compromise that takes the best of both eBooks and print books. The project consisted of a story app that would compliment their physical books to ‘bring modern magic to traditional print books’. There is a cutout in the middle of the book for a smartphone to be placed and the application itself (once loaded) will the display animations and sounds that a child can use on prompt to add enhancements to the story they are reading.
What do you prefer to use when reading or encouraging your child to read, eBooks or Print Books? Come and join in on the conversation with us on Facebook or Twitter!