I came across this article in industry news today while sorting through my email. Trends always catch my eye, and these days I try to pay close attention to the e-book market versus the print market. I know there has been quite a paradigm shift over the last few years in the adult market, and I think it will be very interesting to see how that trickles down to the children’s market over time.
I know my two year old loves my iPad and iPhone. Even though I try to keep my work minimal during my time with him, every time he catches me doing something on one of the two devices, he always wants to see more. I finally downloaded several educational apps that he could use (I find these to be most effective in church or in the store when I need him to behave!), but I still feel that it is very important to limit his time so that doesn’t become his only interest.
I haven’t tried e-books with him yet, and I don’t think I will for a while. I believe the sensory activities of turning the pages and handling the books are very important to a child’s intellectual growth. Plus, I want him to have a genuine interest in reading print books. I want him to get excited to go to the library. Because of these desires, I believe we will keep a mix of both print and e-books, with the larger emphasis on print. Until print books are no longer available, this will be best for my child.
It is only a matter of time before a device like an iPad will be designed specifically for children. It will need to be more durable, but I see it happening in the near future. As a writer, I think it will be very important for parents to come together and advocate to keep books in print. More than ever, it will be imperative to support our local libraries and bookstores so children can develop that intellectual curiosity at a young age.