- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
Reasons to Buy an eReader for Your Kids
What is an E-reader?
An E-reader is a device which allows people to download, store and read books in an electronic format. The most recent models are Wi-Fi enabled, contain up to 16GB in storage capacity and have up to 10” screens available. Most of them can be purchased for under £100, they are smaller and lighter than the average hard back book, making them easy to carry around.
The initial releases did cause a problem for some in regards to the screen, (there were complaints that they were hard to see in the light), however after some technological wizardry this issue seems to have been resolved. Most of the new models that have now been released have been optimized for out door reading. This is all well and good, I hear you cry but why would I want to buy my kids one?
1. Kids love new gadgetry.
E-reader devices like the Kobo, the Kindle and the Nook have hit the consumer market with force. Avid readers young and old have embraced it and they have been buying books via this medium in the millions. The designs are sleek and modern, they look good and any of the youth of today would be proud to own one.
There are many new, useful and fun features that can be enjoyed, all of which are already preprogrammed into the machine itself, no buying or downloading of extra applications required. E-readers are also a good initial investment in gadgetry, your kids can become familiar and comfortable with using information technology at a relatively basic level, before going onto use more sophisticated equipment.
The interfaces now boast touch screen operation, some are android enabled, and third speakers are even being introduced. There is no escaping the fact that the future is going to continue to be digitally driven and what better way to get your children prepared then with a device that will also encourage them to read.
2. It's education but not as they know it.
Kids will love looking at words and literature in a different more relevant way, they will be learning without feeling like they are learning, which is a battle won in terms of education.
New tablets and Playbooks are currently being developed with HDMI T.V. Connection, micro SD slots and even duel core processors, and E-readers are set to follow suit. At their finger tips they will have access to a dictionary, thesaurus and many other tools to help them to understand difficult or challenging material.
They will be able to access information needed for school projects, they will be able to highlight and retrieve passages, facts, figures and any other information or significant data at the touch of a screen.
3. They can read without ridicule.
One of the main reasons that children don't read as often as they would like to is because of what they think their peers will think, nothing will put you off reading a book quicker then being laughed at or mocked by people of your own age, or even so called friends.
Life is particularly difficult for teenagers in this day and age, as they are bombarded with information about what they should and shouldn't be doing. They are told what to be, what to wear and influenced on issues such as relationships and how they should act. Even young children are not immune from social and media messages, advertising campaigns target them everyday.
With a conventional book, the cover will make your chosen reading material apparent to everyone, when reading from an e-reader device they can maintain for the most part the privacy of what book they happen to be reading.
4.There are thousands of free titles available.
Saving money is important, and when it comes to benefiting your finances there is surely nothing better then something that comes for free. Many of the books being given away are absolute classics that may not have been read by them, if they were not available for free to access on their reading device.
The free books generally fall into two different category's, the first is the older books that are exempt from copy right because of there age, or have no known author of which to attribute the work to and can be distributed freely. The second are new books and debut authors who often give away their work for free and are just trying to gain readership, in the hope that people will go on to buy other books written by them.
5. More books are sold via electric format now then in any other way.
The electronic revolution is here and e-readers are doing for literature what e-mail did for communication, there is no denying that the majority of books that will be purchased in the future will be in digital format. Most of the kids I know would not be seen dead in a library (thats if your local library is even still open anymore) and the last place they would think of visiting voluntarily would be a book shop. Even if they do have access to a range of books or a library it will be a modest collection in comparison to the quantity of titles available via an e-reader.
Authors and titles can be searched with speed and efficiency, they will also be offered recommended reads based on the types of books that they have already downloaded or queried. Another clever little benefit of the e-reader is that kids won't be put off by the size or volume of a story, by taking away the intimidation that sometimes comes with heftier tombs, they will be more likely to attempt them.
6. It's quick.
Todays generation are all about the instant, they don't want to wait and who can blame them, if you can get things faster, then why bother wasting your time. If you order a book on-line it can take days for it to arrive, (thats if it shows up at all) and downloading on an e-reader can be done anywhere at any time, no traveling, no searching, no waiting necessary.
Sharing ideas, information and e-book recommendations become easy with other e-reader users. And the super fast WiFi connection means that they have the privilege of obtaining numerous volumes in a matter of seconds, all of it happening at the time when enthusiasm to read is at it's highest. They can read when the inclination is there and there is no 'cool off' period where they change their minds or lose interest.
7. E-books are often a lot cheaper.
Because you eliminate the need to print or produce anything in hard copy, e-book distribution costs far less money then conventional methods of publishing. Self publishers have also by and large dropped the need for agents and publishers and have struck out on their own, meaning that prices can be lowered further still as less people need to be paid from the proceeds made from the sale of the material created.
The developers of e-reader devices are working on integrating USB ports for PC connection allowing e-reader users to move and share work, preventing the need to purchase the material again, you can already achieve this on various tablets and hopefully in the future we will see the same from e-readers. We can also see that some of the newer models are able to sync emails and contacts, which could save you cash on mobile phone bills and Internet costs.
8. Space saving.
Books take up space and the more you own the less space you have to home anymore, I can vouch for this first hand, I have accumulated a lot of literature. Avid readers build up vast collections of magazines and fill book cases to full capacity in a shockingly short period of time. The e-reader can store thousands of books in a device smaller then a novella paperback, giving you more room in the home for other objects, trinkets and other such worldly possessions.
With so much available memory now also provided on these machines, you can have the equivalent of an impressive library in your hands. They are not too dissimilar to the tardis, small on the outside with a whole universe contained in the inside. The Internet can be accessed from many of these technological wonder machines now as well as full length films, held in there entirety and ready to watch at anytime and in any place. So not only are you saving room on books, you will no longer need to house DVD's either.
The e-reader can also be taken on those long and arduous 'are we nearly there yet' journeys, keeping the younger ones quite in the back has got to be worth the investment alone.
9.You can try before you buy.
When deciding what book to buy, most people like to read the blurb. It is a useful way of determining what the story is about and whether it is something you would enjoy, however this is of course fairly brief and the information is limited. When you shop for a book the traditional way, you have the advantage of being able to open it up and scan through the pages, one of the best features of the e-reader is that you can (usually) read a sample chapter or a few pages of a book, before you decide to purchase it.
You can also access free samples of magazines and via the wonder of the world wide web you can read articles just like this one, also free of charge. You may not know that you can also get short stories to download on an e-reader, there are apps available if you wish to purchase them as well as games to play, you can be more interactive then ever, they really are a revelation.
10.They can benefit the parents too.
If all else fails and they either don't really take to it or they get bored of it, the minute they see you using it I can almost guarantee that it will renew their interest, and if they do want to upgrade in a couple of years time, you can enjoy the benefits of the e-reader too by using it yourself.
You can see what they have been reading and searching, which will provide you with more of an insight into what your kids interests are.
Anything that encourages young people to read has got to be a good thing, and an e-reader will at the very least encourage this.