FIR ’10 – Reading Question #2

As part of the Fall Into Reading Challenge 2010, Callapider Days has reading questions for us to answer, if we so wish, every week. The 2nd question is:
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What do you think about e-books? Do you engage in e-reading or do you prefer to stick to good ol’ physical books?

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My answer:
It depends…

I definitely don’t feel ready to let go of the actual physical book. There’s something about a book – about a brand new book with the stiff spine that smells the sweetness of freshly printed pages – of an old well loved books with dents and bents – of a library books that shows the wear and tear of many readers, all sharing the same story… that I just can’t imagine myself letting go of. I know – it takes up a lot of resources to print books… and it would make sense to go digital… But I can’t. Not completely, not yet. I went to a Book Show yesterday with my sister, and it wouldn’t have been possible if all books were digital. There just wouldn’t be the appeal of seeing kiosk after kiosk of brand news books, new releases, out of the press best sellers and lesser known books. And how would an author sign a digital copy?? And it just looks nice – a full library of books accumulated through the years. Some read, some to read, some to re-read. It speaks of a history of some sort. And you can’t really read a digital reader in the bath. There’s the risk of dropping it in, of course (which would also be kind of dangerous for your health and safety), but even if you’re extra careful of that, the steam would definitely not be very good for that oh so expensive toy.

BUT.

I can also see the appeal of the new digital formats. I’m the type of person that, even for a short bus ride to work (well, when I used to work 😉 ), I would need to bring 2-3 books. You know, in case I feel like reading that one and not that one. If I only had one book but felt like another book, now what would I do?!? If I leave on a trip… well, make that 10 books. 😛 And in case I finish them all, better add 2-3 more. And an extra one just in case.

Now that starts to take up a lot of room in the luggages! And it’s heavy to carry around. A digital book reader would hold all these books – and, gasp, more! – in a very tiny and compact and light format. Sweet! Or, if you go to the gym, and want to read while you run, those little book holding thingy don’t hold a book open very well. Ha! A digital book reader would fit nicely and flat on there, and you just flick a finger to turn the page. Now THAT would be fun! (in fact I might want one just for that! Well, assuming I’m going to the gym on a regular basis that is… ahem, moving on.)

One thing that is keeping me from making the plunge though, is the fact that I can’t really try them out first. I think it would be great if libraries had rental digital readers for users to borrow. I would like see first hand how it feels, and if I like it, before investing a few hundred dollars in one. And which one I like best too. Sure, they all pretty much amount to the same thing, but certain features or design might appeal to me more than others.

One type of e-book I DON’T like though, are the e-books meant to be read on your computer with a special reader. I tried it once with a book club book that was just not becoming available through the library. It was cheaper to buy to e-version, and I figured, as good a way as any to try it out. Beuh! Computer screens are not meant for long-term reading, and it’s so NOT portable.

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E-Book Review: 200+ Activities & Ideas for Young Children

Recently I had a chance to review a new e-book, written by Angie Kauffman (The Homeschool Classroom, Many Little Blessings), titled “Finding Educational Activities in the Most Unexpected Places: More than 200 Activities and Ideas for Using Commonly Found Objects to Enhance the Learning of Your Young Child”.

Sounds like a cool title, doesn’t it?

Well, it certainly is! This little book is a great resources of activities to do with, as the title says, objects commonly found in your home – from blankets to boxes to lids, passing through sponges and cookie cutters, and etc. No need to spend a fortune on specialty toys with promising claims: you have everything you need right in your own home to entertain and stimulate your child, in the most simple, natural – and fun – way. The activities are simple in idea and in explanation, but will guarantee hours of fun for you and your young child, whether infant, toddler or preschooler (although even older child might like some of the activities in there, such as pasta and rice dying – recipe & instructions included!)

I especially like the layout of the book, with all the activities under a same theme (or object) listed together in short paragraph form. Also included when applicable are possible variations, as well as indications on what an activity helps develop, and adaptations for children with sensitivity or sensory concerns. It makes for a clear and organized book, and it is very easy to flip through it to find something to do when, say, you have a couple of toilet paper rolls on hand and your toddler needs distraction, NOW.

So how can you get your copy of that little gem? Right here, on Angie Kuffman’s personal blog: http://www.manylittleblessings.com/finding-educational-activities-in-the-most-unexpected-places/. On her page you will also find a detailed table of content, as well as some example activities from the book – and at $7.50 for a 58-pages download, it’s a pretty good buy. 🙂

I have received no compensation for this review, other than a free copy of the e-book in exchange for my honest opinion of the product.