To eRead or not to eRead: Is that the question?

I will admit, I am addicted to YA literature. I even mark the release dates of the second and third books of series in my calendar. My daughter’s 16 year old friend and I are constantly exchanging titles (a passional animal lover, she recently sobbed that I had recommended a book in which a dog was killed – never mind all the people who had died as well . . .). However, in the interests of economy and the environment, I do not buy books, but am an avid library user, so much so, that I sometimes have to return books before I’ve read them as I’ve gotten too many out at once, a common problem of a bibliophile.
I am disturbed by the trend in some school districts to replace books in libraries with eReaders. In the rabid age of choice inherent in personalized learning, the buzz word in education these days, my question is: Where’s the choice in that? Not everyone prefers an eReader to an actual book in the hand. Personally, I have only read one book online, and that because it was an exceptionally large book and I ride the bus, so it was impractical to carry it. If I travelled a lot by plane, I would definitely download books rather than carry them, but otherwise, I am a confirmed book-in-the–hand lover. Unfortunately, there are people in education who feel that just because it’s technology, it must be better. The ads for eReaders are seductive: koboauraHD – "The eReader re-imagined"; koboarc – "Reads like a book"; koboglo – "Read comfortably, day or night"; kobomini – "Small is a big deal"; kobotouch – "The most natural reading experience" (www.kobo.com/ereaders), and that’s only one company. I am not averse to technology – I have an iPhone, an iPad and a Macbook and use them all with pleasure. My job is Literacy, in all its forms.
Books or eReaders? Students should be given the choice.

Pamela Hansen
LD/Literacy Consultant

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About phansenvsb

I am passionate about teaching reading and writing to a diverse audience from those experiencing challenges in reading and writing to those who seek deep enrichment in literature and its connections to the world in which it was written and to the present day. I also present workshops on assessment for learning, differentiated instruction, literature circles, disciplinary literacy, and inquiry.
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