Thursday, May 27, 2010

Books or eBooks?

Browsing through the internet recently, I came across two pieces of information - both alarming and enlightening. This article says that, "children are more likely these days to own a cell phone than they are a book" and another study also goes to prove that "the difference between being raised in a bookless home compared to being raised in a home with a 500-book library has as great an effect on the level of education a child will attain as having parents who are barely literate"

This has triggered some arguments for and against technology with the naysayers likening it to the pandora's box and the soothsayers pointing out that it in fact opens up a plethora of information and is just redefining 'reading' and not killing it altogether.

Having grown up with print, I love having a book in hand, the way it feels, the way it smells, etc. However, I wouldn't deny that there have been times in the recent past when I've thought it would be really nice to own a Kindle and more recently the iPad. I'm feeling this way, and mind you, I'm still very conservative when it comes to technology, so, isn't it quite natural for the current generation to gravitate towards the digital format? With all the talk about preserving the forests, shouldn't we be taking the digital route? What about reading Dr Seuss, Eric Carle, Karadi, Tulika etc in the digital format? If youngsters are hooked to their mobiles, how about serving them a book on their mobile? I think there's an opportunity everywhere and that the path of least resistance will work.

What's your argument?

13 comments:

Shilpa said...

I still love the print... a novel in print appeals to me more than a ebook :)

ChoxBox said...

hi!

check this -http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/garden/27clean.html?pagewanted=all

somewhere in that long article there is talk of the radiation that comes from an electronic gadget. so to answer your question, i'd rather have a child read a book minus the e (and the radiation).

utbtkids said...

Nothing beats a REAL book.

The link below is about technology in the lives of young children in general, but I find it apt to this discussion.

http://ttfuture.org/files/2/pdf/mm_A%20is%20for%20App.pdf

PV said...

Preferable to get kids to read paper-and-binding books than start off with the electronic versions

Radiation, eye strain, ability to quickly move on to other browsing (esp. on the iPad) are the key negatives.

Also there's nothing quite like huddling with a book, deaf to the world, lost in the pages, feeling one with the tale - will not part with that feeling for all the technology in the world !

Jayashree said...

No e-books for me, thank you. I even hate the idea of turning books into movies, though I love the Harry Potter series :-)
Nothing can match the pleasure of that reading a much loved and well worn book gives.

Lavanya Sriram said...

me too of the same opinion as the others :) nothing to beta the real book :) Snuggling in with a book, turning the pages is so addictive :). Nothing to beat it.
As PV said, moving on to other stuff is quite addictive as well with the "e" version.

Hema said...

I'd do anything to prevent my child from getting exposed to technological 'emissions'. So books only, for me. Also, when it comes to children books, can a monitor/screen provide the same happiness as that of ruffling through the pages laden with color and beautiful pictures?
All said and done after a few years I guess it is their choice!

ssstoryteller said...

i would only look at it with balance
cannot deny that tech is here, so why not get kids to read this way too
but i personally prefer holding the book...so try to balance and if book is available then why not..
if not go for tech...

Uma said...

All - I completely ignored the emissions part of it, I was just debating the 'format' here. Thanks for pointing that out - so true!

Chox - That link was an eye opener - yes we've been reading about the radiations and when I was carrying I used to try and avoid being close to these as much as possible. But the way this article quantified this - helps us see the magnitude...

Now, coming to the format - I expected that most of us would go for print :)
It would be interesting to hear the views of some teenagers...

ChoxBox said...

well i know at least one not-yet-teenager who CLEARLY prefers the book minus e ;)
may she remain that way!

Uma said...

Chox - I'm glad to hear that :)
I also know a 'long-way-to-go-to-be-a-teenager' who prefers it minus the e ... and wondering how long it'll last :)

Just that I'm seeing a lot of them in the late teens and early 20s who hardly read books but consume so much information through the digital medium. They are what you call the 'always connected' community. Of course the quality of information that they consume is debatable again...
That's what triggered the thought whether e books would appeal to them and get them to read the books...

How do we know said...

u know.. i m still undecided abt that one.. i prefer a book in print.. but to each their own.. personally, when i meet young ppl, i m quite unhappy abt the general level of reading that they have done.. such closed minds!!

Uma said...

How do we know - This post stems from meeting such young people. They are smart, bright and efficient but somehow haven't taken to books...