I’ve said no to Nintendo DS, GameBoy, Xbox, Wii, iPod Touch… I want my kids to spend their spare hours reading, not attached to a machine.
I’ve loved watching them live in the stories they love, running around in costumes creating their own Secrets Of Droon script, or building unique spacecraft and imagining whole new worlds. Books inspire that kind of creativity, not machines.
I’m a proud bookworm: every spare wall in my house contains an overstuffed bookshelf–and I love my books with a fierce passion. My daughters love their books too.
But this summer books turned electronic: my ten-year-old bought a Nook with her own saved birthday and holiday money. I couldn’t say no to a book, right?!?!
As an author I have complicated feelings about E-readers. Mainly, I hate that I’ve transformed from a writer to a “content creator.” Where’s the romance in that?
Dutifully, I took my daughter to the free Nook class. About a dozen people, representing just about every decade of life–the oldest man was 80–learned how to read free sample chapters, download books, change font size, etc.
I sat nearby with my laptop, trying to create content, with one ear listening to the B&N employee boast about the glowing future of electronic books. I didn’t get many words written.
My daughter brought her Nook home, drew and colored a picture for her E-reader cover, and snuggled into the sofa and read. She read for hours. More than she’d read all summer.
Something about reading electronically makes my reluctant reader feel edgy and cool. And no matter what happens to her poor content creating mother, I know that an E-reader will always be part of my daughter’s life. She’s hooked!
Sydney Salter, author of JUNGLE CROSSING, a middle-grade novel with a glossy cover and thick, creamy pages, lives and writes in Utah. She’s never read a book electronically, but she did download her work-in-progress onto her daughter’s Nook for feedback.