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  • Writer's pictureJudy

Feb. 14, 2021: A Love of Real Books!

It is undeniable that we are all spending much more time in front of screens than we ever have before. Whether on virtual platforms for work, Zoom gatherings with friends, or on-line versions of things we formerly did face-to-face, we are all in front of our computers, laptops, devices, and phones more than ever.

This holds true for children as well. Even if they are going into the school building, classroom instruction is relying on computer programs and on-line activities more than ever.

For me, that is reason enough for us to choose real, actual books over ebooks, whenever we can. I am not opposed to ebooks. There are many positives to having many books readily available on a single device. But I also believe firmly that digital versions of books should not be the norm or the fall back. That whenever possible, especially with children, the real book is better.

Even as an adult reader, I only chose ebooks when I travel or if that is the only option for a book I must have. Other than that, I will always chose the actual book. For many reasons….

As a teacher, I want to be able to put the books on my bookshelves for my students to borrow and hold. Real books can be shared in ways that ebooks cannot. Watch a couple of eight year olds browsing through a pile of books and touching and holding them and you will see the power of an actual book.

As a college professor, I want to be able to hold and show and share books with my students. When teaching Children’s Literature classes, holding up the ebook is simply not as powerful as reading from, and showing, the actual book. The book takes on a presence that it does not when it is digital. Think in terms of zoom meetings compared to face-to-face meetings. Both work, but there is a decided difference.

As a grandmother, I want to be able to hold the book while I read to my granddaughters. Having them help turn the pages, looking at the illustrations, feeling the pages. These sensory experiences contribute to the story and the memories. Reading from an actual book engages all of our senses, not just visual. Our senses of touch and smell (yes- books have a smell!) become part of our reading experience.

As a writer, I want to fill my shelves with examples of the great work my fellow authors are doing. Books just bring me joy. Being able to look at the wonderful covers and book bindings that line the bookshelves in so many rooms of my home. Each book seems to have a spirit or a life force (think about all the ideas and information contained in them) that gives them a presence. A home filled with books has a feeling that those without books just does not have.

There is nothing in the world like the feel of a real book in your hands!

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