The Importance of Books to the Next Generation.

Via on Feb 17, 2014

BOOKS

I have come to terms with the fact that my daughter won’t know what a floppy disk is, or maybe even a CD.

I understand that if she ever got her hands on an old Nokia phone (maybe at a museum), she’d have no idea how to play Snake and would be utterly bored with the thought of a game without graphics.

I refuse, however, to let my infant daughter grow up without books. Not Nook books, or books-on-tape or e-books of any kind. But paper books.

I want her to feel the pages in between her fingers and smell the print. If I’m really lucky, she’ll have the chance to hear the laminate of a library book as she reads.

My father’s office in his home is walled with bookshelves. Ever since I discovered the joy of reading, I found such pleasure in going into his office and skimming the backs of books until one suited my mood.

Whether it is my stubbornness or true love, I have avoided the digital wave in books since the beginning. I have never read a book on a tablet or listened to one through my car or headphones.

I have flowers smushed between pages of my favorite books, bindings so worn they are almost useless. For an author, I can’t imagine there is anything more exciting than getting their first shipment of books with their names on it.

Stories that take us to another time and place should not be contained in something than can be deleted and forgotten amongst Angry Bird and Online Poker.

My fear is that when my child is old enough to go to school, books will be obsolete. It’s much cheaper to download a file than buy hundred of paperbacks, right?

For every 100 books Amazon.com sells, they sell 105 e-books. The gap will only continue to grow.

It doesn’t stop there. There are apps for babies! A digital flashcard system, if you will, of simple pictures and text so they learn vocabulary at a proper speed.

Oakley has never seen one of these apps. While my iPad may be fun to look at, her learning is done with baby books made of cardboard that she can chew on when she’s done watching me turn the pages.

By the time she’s old enough to enjoy books, I too will have a room full of books. A room where she can go into and shut the door, go for an old favorite or a new piece of literature from a genre she’s not used to.

Then, she’ll take the book into her room, curl up on her bed under a dim light and turn the pages of a real book.

Maybe she’ll corner a page to keep her place in the story, or maybe she’ll use a bookmark. If books have taught me anything, it’s that the options are endless.

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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Provided by author

About Kayla Pierce

Kayla lives in a small town in Virginia. She is married to a handsome redhead, best friends with her Mom and a wrangler of three large dogs. She is also raising a baby the best way she knows how: with a lot of love and a lot of learning. Along the way, she plans to share her missteps, mistakes and misfortune and, of course, all the fun, splendor and beauty in-between. Follow her blog: Raising O or on Twitter: @raisingoakley

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4 Responses to “The Importance of Books to the Next Generation.”

  1. Jim Davis says:

    I'm with you Kayla. Kids need to know how a book feels in their hands and the smell of the pages as they turn each one. My wife and I both enjoy the smell and the feel of a real book and not the feel of a tablet in our hands. Turning the pages on a tablet will never feel the same.

    • raisingoakley says:

      Hi Jim,
      It's true! Brushing your finger across a screen will never feel as good as physically turning a page.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Allyson says:

    Hey Kayla, Loved this. Your might like a post I just wrote: http://shantipax.com/2014/01/15/reading/.

    • raisingoakley says:

      Hi Allyson,
      Wonderful article! I completely agree with the importance of supporting local bookstores and not just the big names. I also love libraries and encourage people to get a library card to check out old books. (Not as easy to get the new releases!)
      Thanks for reading!
      Kayla

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