Posted by: paultovell | August 26, 2009

But what if someone rings halfway through the story?

I suppose it was only a matter of time before the ubiquitous iPhone people created a solution for people who don’t like books but feel guilty if they don’t read to their child.  (Just how large is that demographic, exactly?) But can a screen really convey all the enjoyment and pleasure of a picture book – in pixels?  Readers of a technophobic disposition may wish to avoid the following link:

http://newsweaver.co.uk/peters/e_article001524275.cfm?x=bg016lF,bfgqfw7w,w

I’m not against technology.  I’m just not convinced about technology for technology’s sake.  To play devil’s advocate and assume that there are benefits in this invention, there are still problematic questions like can children concentrate/fully engage with a screen so small?  Where is the encouragement in their imagination by seeing the spine / front cover of the book on the shelf?  And perhaps most significantly, what happens if they want to chew the story?  Jury still out, I think.

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Responses

  1. Think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your last point – I’m not a parent, but I do have two small nephews, and I know that their primary concern with books is a) how chewable are the pages and b) are there any fun pop-up bits that can be torn out? I think they’ve both got the makings of fine literary critics… 😉

    Seriously though, I think especially for children the tactile aspect of books is the most important. I’m not against e-books particularly, I’ve even got a couple on my phone (not an iPhone!), but I don’t see them replacing print books – especially not for children.

  2. And what about the fact (well known in my family)that screens suck life out of people, whereas illustrations and words in books put something in?


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