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What does the future hold for books?

October 17, 2010
On Friday, we had new carpet installed in our basement to replace what had been destroyed in a June flooding incident.  So, on Saturday morning, we began to move furniture back into place, this included a large bookcase.  Before we restocked the shelves, my wife and I decided that we needed to “go through” the books and donate some to the Friends of Saline District Library.  The process reminded me that at one time I purchased a fair number of books….but that I have not bought any for “recreational reading” in quite a while.  I do still get and read books for work… but not as many as I used too and specifically not that many in the last 12 months.  One issue is time, I can’t seem to find the time necessary to start and finish a book. However, I am starting to see a shift in my reading habits. They are being influenced by the amount of time I spend in front of screens – mostly my laptop and my phone.

Later on Saturday, I received an email from an English teacher who had been at a literacy meeting on Friday.  She was asking about testing out various digital reader devices like Kindle, an iPad, Sony reader, etc. A discussion at the meeting on Friday had been related to the format that the teachers were comfortable reading.   Not surprisingly, non-digital forms were the norm.  However, they are interested in using digital devices both to try themselves and in the classroom.  Clearly, they too see the shift that is occurring.

It is not a surprise.  The media center at Saline High School is smaller than the media center at our previous high school.  It does, however, have more computers.  Amazon.com reported recently that sales of e-books now outpace traditional books on their site.  On this blog I have been bemoaning the cost (not to mention backpack weight) of hard copy textbooks. There is a shift…. but the impact on how we teach and how we learn is still unknown.  The question is how do we make the shift and do what is best for teaching and learning?  For those of us who grew up with books as the main source of information, it can be a difficult transition.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Staci Nazareth permalink
    October 21, 2010 3:10 pm

    I just read this, and I found it interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/books/29kids.html?_r=1
    2/3rds of kids don’t want to give up printed books. T

  2. October 23, 2010 4:51 pm

    Interesting article…. Understand, I’m not suggesting we give up books – I watch my own children who still enjoy books. However, I think that like the newspaper and music industries….. moving to digital is an inevitability. The question is when?

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