Thursday, 7 May 2015

Do You Prefer Printed Books or Kindle Version

I often find myself pondering the concept of printed books versus eBooks or books on Kindle. Personally I prefer the printed book. There is nothing quite like holding a book in one's hands, feeling the pages, smelling the paper or ink, turning the pages. Reading is a very different experience when holding a book to when holding a piece of technology.

While many adults are shifting to read most of their books online, for little children I still prefer books, printed books, physical items with pages and colour, print and design. 

Recently someone requested that our new kids book for 5-7 year olds can be available on Kindle and so we began to explore responses of others. What do you prefer for your children? At what age do you introduce technology to your child?

I have noticed some women on the bus think that giving their child a cell phone to play with is a good way to keep them entertained on the bus. Is it? We'll take a look at that in a moment.

Some responded in a few forums that since we are becoming more and more a cyber world, that it is a good idea to make sure that quality books are available for children to read whether in book form or in eBook form. 

While I hear the benefit to profits of having one's book available in both, I still question reading a book to small children via Kindle rather than an actual printed book.

Here are my issues with reading via technology:

- technology has caused an increase in radiation or microwaves which have a negative effect on our health. We just have to look at the increase in conditions such as cancers, debilitating neurological conditions, sensory processing disorders from mild through to the Autistic Spectrum to see that effects to our health are real.

- reading via technology, though it has a place, also leads to strain on the eyes, headaches and problems such as addiction to technology. 

- reading from a book where a parent, carer or sibling can have the child sit on their lap or next to them and have quiet time to hug or cuddle, feel the pages, turn the pages etc, is a grounding, calming and bonding experience. I question whether the same experience is possible with technology. 

- in addition to development, occupational therapists are concerned about a persons ability to function effectively throughout their day and this includes adequate and effective sleep. In order to develop a good routine that will support healthy sleep, which is crucial for healthy living, most advocate to refrain from use of technology at night and especially about an hour before bedtime. For those who wish to read bedtime stories to their children, using eBooks in whatever format they are read will not be following this recommendation. Consequently children can have a difficulty getting to sleep or sleeping effectively.

When might eBooks be beneficial? Most are saying when on a trip or waiting e.g. in an airport. Having a few books on Kindle or tablet enables a person to carry more items with less weight. 

These are some thoughts to consider. I'd love to hear which you prefer and why. If you are an expert in development of the child, health of the child, vision therapy, remedial education, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

This post is prepared by:
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist, Author and Photographer

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