Posts tagged Picture Books
Posts tagged Picture Books
I like my Nook. I was intrigued by it the first time I saw the device, and was blessed to receive a Nook pretty early in its life as a birthday gift. I have since graduated to a Nook Color and see the horizon laced with tablets which offer both the ease of E-Books and the extras that allow for greater use and application.
I like my Nook because everywhere I go I have several of my favorite books. I also enjoy the ease in which I can take notes and highlight. I can then scroll through my notes and find the key points so much easier than having to turn every page. I like my Nook because it is bright and shiny. Most of the books I read are black and white pages, but I have found great joy in my very inexpensive subscription to Reader’s Digest - the pages even turn like I was reading the book myself. I also will occasionally purchase an ESPN The Magazine and be drawn in by the bright colors and the vivid images. I find a certain comfort in my Nook. It serves a purpose.
But I also like books. My house is filled with them. Most of them deal with education. Being married to a teacher who is committed to her craft helps that too. But I like books. As much as I love my Nook, I can never imagine grabbing a group of students and reading them an E-Picture Book. For some situations this book projected on a white board could serve a purpose, but there is an intimacy to my reading and sharing that comes from turning the page, the way you hold the book, the way you close it to make a point, and the fact that children want to reach up and touch the pages. That’s the power of a book.
I like bookstores and libraries too. I am pulling for Barnes and Noble because quite honestly, they offer a comfortable space. In some ways, they are a giant coffee shop which happens to share its space with a several dozen book shelves and a few thousand titles. It’s a unique space. It’s comfortable and I like it. I have gone to Barnes and Noble with my Nook and sat in a big comfy chair and read. It’s just nice. Sometimes when you’re getting your tires rotated, or your family is shopping, you need a place to sit and just have some introverted time. Book stores allow that. Libraries are wonderful spots as well. Every time I go, I say to myself, “You need to go back more frequently.” The librarians are so knowledgeable and the space is so comfortable. It’s a gather place of sorts but it’s also a treasure.
People are picky about their books. Our family has invested thousands of dollars in books. Some books are the type that can be shared willingly. Others, not so much. I have always felt the biggest compliment anyone can ever give me; or for that matter I can give them is to say, “Here, I think you will like this book.”
That’s the problem with E-Books. You can’t do that. I know, I know - it’s about business. But most times the simple art of sharing does one thing - it cultivates purchasing of the book down the road of life. Take for example the wonderful story, The Help. I was given this book by a dear friend to read who had borrowed it from another friend. I was told to return it to the original owner, a mutual friend, when I was finished. I did. It then created a situation where my wife and my stepson wound up purchasing the book because I had read it and raved about it. My wife loved it too and others have followed her advice and purchased it too. I don’t see that happening with E-Books because you can’t share. It’s almost like the publishing companies forgot that their greatest asset is word of mouth. I don’t care if you limit the shares to 2 or 3 - but allow sharing. It creates common ground and it creates a culture of reading and for heaven sakes, we teach sharing in kindergarten.
I see devices like Nooks or iPads slowly taking over at school. It just makes sense. It is more efficient, it is less expensive, and the amount of environmental impact for paper, etc. will be limited. Plus, it is very manageable for young bodies to take to and from. However, when I go to purchase a book, I still in my head stop and ask myself, “E-Book or Not?” Sometimes I go with the E-Book. Sometimes Not.
One of my mentors and I have a revolving lunch date about once a month. When we get together, the first thing we do is to hand each other reading material. I don’t know how it started, but I know that when I am going to see him, I need to try to remember to bring him something. He always talks about the ‘Smart’ books that I bring him, but I also find great joy in bringing him human interest stories like A Good Walk Spoiled or A Walk in the Woods. Because in my revolving door of reading materials, I try to balance ‘smart’, with fun, and with children’s.
I guess when it’s all said and done, the good thing about both printed and electronic text is that reading is being promoted. There is such wonderful reading material out there now for children - I am a big envious. Not because I would have read it as a child - because I wasn’t so into reading then, but because so many of my classmates and family were. But on the flip side some of the treasures from my youth like Bread and Jam for Frances, The Biggest Bear, Blueberries for Sal, and Matt’s Mitt are not mainstays in today’s culture but need to be. They are wonderful!
So if I ever walk up to you and hand you a book and say, “I think you will like this book”, realize two things: 1. I purchased the book with the idea that I would share it and 2. It’s one of the highest compliments I can offer you.