Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Something an e-book can’t do…


Something an e-book can’t do…
Can an e-book truly span generations? Will it ever have the longevity to be read by both parent and child when they are the same age?
My daughter is seven and has just discovered that reading is fun. So I pulled down a dusty box from the attic with all my treasured books from childhood. She sieved through them and picked out my battered copy of Jill Murphy’s ‘The Worst Witch’, which she is totally enthralled by.
Being of similar mind, she was adamant that this now belonged to her - her new reading book! We opened the book to put her name inside the front cover, only to discover my own seven-year-olds hand written scribble of my name. What better thing to do then but to have Beatriz write hers underneath.
Watching Beatriz read the book I loved as at the same age, seeing her finger the same pages, smelling the same paper (although it is distinctly more potent now!) is a beautiful thing. It all seems very magical that somewhere in the time-line there is a seven year old version of me reading the exact same book as my daughter is now.  It’s all very ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’.
This got me thinking that this is a small triumph for Books over E-Books!
If you buy an e-book, will it last 26 years? If so, is your child likely to be reading it on the same device 26 years later? I think this is very unlikely if the lifespan of computers and mobile phones are anything to go on. Don’t get me wrong I think e-books are great and have their own charm and advantages, but there is something altogether more romantic about the intimacy of reading a book, and knowing that other people you love have caressed its pages before you.
Long live the book!

6 comments:

  1. Hi Sally, I didn't know you blogged, Shona just mentioned your postcard. Look forward to following you. I am an "e-reader hater" - no Kindle on my Christmas list, I have to have a good old fashioned book :) And I still have most of mine from childhood, although I do regret parting with my whole set of Enid Blytons Famous Five!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sue, yeah been blogging for about two months now, I'm gradually getting the hang of it! I'm not a kindle hater, but I think I'll always choose a traditional paper book over a kindle. Or may just until I've saved up enough money to buy one! I know what you mean, some of my favourite books have disappeared i think my sister may be to blame...

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know, I hadn't thought about the e-book vs traditional book in this way but you are so right! I can't wait to pass my beloved childhood books on to Lady M. However, there is the whole eco-friendly side to e-books to consider. Nostalgia against being green - tough one! *But I am really still in the trad book camp!*

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hadn't actually thought about the green issues! Naughty me! But I guess that rather depends on how long the devices last. Either way me thinks books will still be around, just perhaps not in quite so many numbers. I'm Sure Lady M will be reading your book lounging in the sun in OZ in no time!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Sally, I did a session at a Pre-School for World Book Day last week, and thought of this excellent blog on seeing the 2 - 4 year olds enthusiasm for books. I've put a link in my report on the SCBWI School Visits page.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Catriona, Oh, glad you liked it. Thanks for Linking to it! Hope your WBD Event went well!

    ReplyDelete