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3 experts and 5 parents have answered

C. Lee Reed
C. Lee Reed Tampa, US

I am definitely from the old school, I want to touch, smell and get lost in a traditional paper book.

Having said that, anything that gets our children reading is a plus. Kindle, Nook, eReaders are fine if ultimately, our kids are engaged in a story!

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Experience 4 years ago
Ionie Liburd Willett
Ionie Liburd Willett Permanent secretary, one child Basseterre, KN

My son uses his Kindle at the end of completing his homework and he is relaxing, listening to or reading stories. Also, it affords him the privilege of having a whole library of books at his fingertips when I have to go to meetings, functions, and church services. He prefers listening mode to learn stuff so the Kindle meets this need. Honestly, he prefers my iPad which has the Kindle app.

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Experience 4 years ago
Stuart Houghton writer
Stuart Houghton Freelance writer and IT nerd London, UK

The Kindle has shaken up publishing and made it safe to read Harry Potter (among other guilty pleasures) on the train without fear of recrimination. While very young readers would likely turn little noses up at monochrome (though will enjoy the touchscreen of the Paperwhite), older children who are happy to get stuck in to pure text or books with simple illustrations will find that they can carry a huge library of their favourites with them.

This can make packing for a holiday with a bookworm in tow a much less stressful experience. Battery life is measured in weeks rather than the hours of a games console or smartphone and they will be able to read happily without being tethered to a plug socket.

Amazon has thousands of books available for download in Kindle format and most of the classics are free if your child wants to explore the literary canon or just grab a portable reference for an English class. It’s not just for fiction, either - there are many school textbooks and titles.

One thing to watch is the lack of any kind of parental lock on the Kindle store. It is possible to buy books directly from the Kindle itself and you should probably keep an eye to make sure your credit card isn’t going to take a beating, as well as checking that nobody has been downloading anything unsavoury.

With these caveats in mind, a Kindle can be a good way to encourage a reluctant reader as well as offering keener kids an enormous portable library. It may not replace the paper book entirely - nor should it, especially for those who enjoy reading in the bath - but there are far worse gadgets you could buy for your child.

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Opinion 4 years ago
matt simmons
matt simmons Cyclo-Commuter GB

Agree 100%... And there (certainly in my family) seems to be an ADDITIONAL attraction to kids of reading on a device above an "old fashioned" paper book...

Some of the best illustrations are in B&W anyway - if our collection of Roald Dahl e-books are anything to go by...

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Experience 4 years ago
1 Reply Share:
Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Terry Doherty expert
Terry Doherty Parent literacy expert US

Ironically, we've had the opposite experience. We thought our child would be more inclined to do her required reading on our Nook (same diff) but that ploy didn't work. She liked the actual book better because she could explore the photos more.

As someone whose avocation and career are devoted to literacy, I would strongly discourage kids who do not yet read independently (usually late 2d grade) from reading from a Kindle as their primary platform. Turning the pages of a book directly affects a child's ability to hold and use writing instruments. Yes, we type a lot, but we don't type everything.

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Experience 4 years ago
Cliff Jones writer
Cliff Jones Dad of two. Life 1st, tech 2nd. Maidenhead, Windsor and Maidenhead, UK

We have a couple of Kindles, two iPads, two laptops, one PC and four smartphones in our house. They can all be devices for reading but my daughter prefers books. She has read a few on the Kindle, but it's books she loves, and I'm happy as long as she is reading.

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Experience 4 years ago
expert answer
Priya Desai expert
Priya Desai Speech and Language Therapist London, GB
Language expert

I love paper books and am still to attempt to even try and hold a Kindle and read from one! However, the other day, I was working with a 9 year old who showed me her Kindle, and I have to say, my thoughts on Kindles quickly changed. She was able to highlight and look up words which she was not familiar with (I did not know Kindles could do this!) - this was a bonus for me, as it was quick and easy; and I'm always encouraging children to read for meaning as opposed to just read.

I think Kindles are good for children who are competent readers, and who also really enjoy reading; but I would still encourage paper books to be used too so as not to loose touch with real books.

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Opinion 4 years ago

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