Google+ Authentic Parenting: Books, Have They Become Obsolete?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Books, Have They Become Obsolete?

Welcome to the March Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Discovering through Books
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants have investigated what role books have played in their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

As I watch my daughter happily tap on the Ipad I received for Christmas but didn’t get to use, I can’t help but wonder: do we still need books? One cannot argue with the fact that books are much less convenient then their digital counterpart: they take up space, gather dust, create waste and chip into our precious natural resources.
Personally, I read a lot more digitally then I do in print, and I’m an avid reader. I can imagine shifting more and more towards digital reading (if I ever get hold of that Ipad), for numerous reasons, but most importantly because carrying an Ipad is so much lighter than a bag full of books, and it carries more than one bag, and this is an important issue for frequent movers like we are.

Obviously we have quite a road to travel until there’s a digital reader in every house, there’s the issue of cost, and availability of internet, and these are just a couple of factors that would stunt their repartitions, I’m sure we could think of many more.

Image: sleepyneko on Flickr
Still, if we would look long into the future, would we enter a world one day without books? Surely, if the resources needed to make books would become extinct or so threatened that we could no longer use them, we’d cease making books.
But there’s something magical about cuddling up with your child and reading an actual book, about lounging under a tree with a god novel... the crisp of the paper, the smell of the ink...

As any technology, books will continue to exist next to digital readers, they’ll just find their space and maybe new, niche usages. Though from an environmental perspective - with the upcoming of digital readers - it is up to us, the consumers, to spend our dollars wisely when it comes to printed material. Do continue to buy lovely children’s book, and get that novel you so desire, but save some paper by getting your magazines and journals online or in a digital subscription... this way, we’ll all benefit from our natural resources  a little longer.

Visit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:



  1. I just had to laugh about the iPad hogging. Mikko can't get enough of Nana's iPad when she visits, which is why I know I can never bother to buy one for myself — it would be de facto for him.

    I've gotten into reading digitally (a) once I found out our library offers a lot of titles digitally for free and (b) once I realized I could get a lot more reading done in the dark if it were on a lighted screen! Perfect for those nursing-to-sleep moments.

    But I think children's books will continue to lend themselves well to paper. Kids are so tactile.

  2. I just received a shipment of 15 books for the children for easter and I was so excited to open them, we love books so much, I cannot imagine not having a house full of them. We try to buy used ones, swap with friends and rent from the library whenever possible. But, we are also reading a few chapter books with our oldest on a digital reader since there are no picutres anyways and we have to digital libraries with kids books we like to visit for english books we haven't been able purchase yet...

  3. It's funny, but when I was reading this I just felt I could not imagine not having books. But then when I think back I can intellectually understand the idea of a technological shift. I read online and in print, but probably more online. I don't know, though. I feel like consider myself having read a "book" when I have held something and flipped through the pages. Then again, I come from a family where vacations consist of each family member sitting and reading a book. I remember one time my brother's girlfriend came with us who wasn't used to reading and found it difficult after she finished her magazine.....we are a booky bunch....:)

  4. As I was writing my post this very topic crossed my mind. I wondered if I could imagine all digital (or even mostly-digital) children's books- and I cannot!

    For myself, however, I definitely read digital (on my iphone, no less) and love it, like Lauren said, for the nursing-in-the-dark moments, and you can't beat the convenience of it.

    It's very interesting to see what the future will bring w/r/t print media!

  5. I agree...nothing can replace having a little one snuggle in your lap, help you turn the pages and then beg to read it "one more time".

  6. What is it with kids and technology?! My phone, laptop and Kindle are all like catnip to the children ~ even the baby!

    I think there's definitely a place for both formats ~ I love how the e-publishing revolution has opened up a whole new era of accessibility for writers and readers alike, but yes, curling up with a cuddly child and a magical book takes some beating.


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