We recently had our family vacation with our three boys and it was somewhat new territory for us. It was the first vacation we have been on where the majority of our boys are reading. In the last few months, our 8 year old has really hit that place where his reading has grown in leaps and bounds.
Apart from the significant amount of peace and quiet we gained, I noticed we were lugging around a lot of books and it really got me thinking about Kindles.
We are planning for some longer trips with the kids, and I have begun to realize that there is simply no way we could schlep the amount of books the older two consume. In a two week vacation they would probably go through 10-15 books between them. Then add on that the ones my wife and I might be reading. So I started looking into Kindles.
I made the VERY interesting discovery that you can register multiple kindles (or Kindle-enabled fruity devices) to the same account. That means that we could create an Amazon account designed to be a children’s library. We could get ebooks through it and any of the boys could access the selection and independently read what they wanted on their Kindle (or even our fruit device). Amazon Prime also now has the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library – you can choose from more than 270,000 books to borrow for free.
The price is right now as well. You can get a Kindle for under $70!
You also have access to an enormous free domain library (older, classics). We could even set up a wish list for relatives to add books on birthdays and Christmas!
The one thing I was disappointed at, I tried to get British titles, like The Famous Five. Turns out you need a amazon.co.uk account and a dedicated device for just that.
Kindles In Schools
With the price Kindles are now, I think that schools are getting very close to getting classroom sets. If a teacher were to invest in the initial purchase of a $1000 or so for the whole class, they would then just have to just get a SINGLE copy of any book and immediately have it for the whole class. No more buying multiple class sets of books.
(Though on a side note, I’d question why the whole class was reading a single title anyway, but that discussion of teaching English is for another blog post)
There is the whole “but kids need to hold real paper” argument, but I wonder if this is becoming less and less true. For the last 10 years we have been growing a digital generation, and how we consumed our information through paper media has radically changed. Polls and studies have shown how everyone is now reading MORE with the advent of digital access to unlimited media.