Lately many of my favourite authors have been holding amazing giveaways for the desirable Kindle, an electronic device used for downloading, storing, and reading books. The Kindle is one of numerous like products competing on the market right now, and with the latest addition of the iPad, more and more people are permanently shelving their books in favor of the more mobile eBook.
This past week our provincial newspaper ran several articles and editorials about how new technology can be used to encourage young and reluctant readers because of the many features and the novelty surrounding these devices. Researchers have seen particular success using eBooks with high-risk and failing students who in the past disdained to even look at a book. However, at the same time, some parents and educators are raising concerns that eBooks are making it too easy for children to become more detached and tuned out of the world because they are constantly plugged into technology.
I find both sides of this argument provoking and compelling. I am undeniably a lover of the physical book-the cracking sound the binding makes when you open a new book, the musty smell of a well loved novel, the little notes made in the margins of particularly thought-provoking page, the dog eared corners of works in progress, how beautiful they look lined up on shelves or stacked on bedside tables …Oh, I could go on and romanticize books for hours, but you get the picture. In a nutshell, I can not see myself switching over to digital books any time soon. I know that they are convenient, easily transportable, cheaper, and customizable (size of text, etc), but it is just a matter of preference. If eBooks can get reluctant students reading-HOORAY! I would rather see them plugged into a Kindle than an X-Box.
What are your thoughts? Are you a book purist, a technological convert, or a dash of each?