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Children, Learning and E-books: Why the Controversy?--Editorial

By HERWriter Guide
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Relationships & Family related image Photo: Getty Images

Yesterday I learned that buying children e-books or e-readers is a hot topic. As in, a really hot topic. Many people are very (very!) against them and blogs are filled with reasons why they are so bad for kids. Meanwhile, as I learn of this controversy, my 5-year-old’s e-book is hidden upstairs until she gets to open it for Christmas. I’m thinking about the debate – who knew?! Apparently every parent but me.

These are the cons of e-books for kids that I have read:
Kids will learn better with real books. Kids like to hold and touch and turn pages manually. They’ll have big, colorful picture to actually touch and get the excitement of opening a real book, and the satisfaction of closing a book after completing it.

Children learn better this way. Why mess with tried and tested methods?
You can’t bond over an e-book. And since this kind of technology quickly becomes obsolete, special e-books can’t be handed down like an old and well worn book can be. There’s something really special about knowing your kid is reading the same book as you (or even their grandparents) read as a child.
It’s takes away from imagination. Touching the screen to change pages and silly cartoon type voices found in many e-books will never substitute the soft and imaginative voices of Mom and Dad as they change accents, use sound effects and stop to kiss their kid half way through the story.

Children will never appreciate real books, nor get the thrill of a second hand book store; the smell, the texture and the interesting and informative banter that goes back and forth.

Really? All this whining over an e-book? Are we turning into the "old people" who frowned upon our walkmans and CD players and all those arcade games that would lead us to petty crime and drugs? You know those old people - the ones that were told when they were young that dancing like Elvis would cause nothing more than promiscuous behavior and would lead to the downfall of the American people? Of course that made Native Americans laugh because.....well, you get the picture.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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