Books, life

How much is too much?

I’ve been reading a few technology trends this morning, and have started asking myself, “How much is too much?”

A children’s book author just made the Kindle Million Club – she’s sold a million electronic copies of her book. One school handed out Kindles to the students – loaded with textbooks for the year.I even read a line that basically said children in the youngest generation are not going to know what it feels like to hold a book while reading. Whoa, seems extreme, doesn’t it?

Now mind you, I am not a Kindle owner – or any other e-reader for that matter. I have used Kindle for PC to read one book (Quitter, by Jon Acuff – check it out!) but I do want one. Very much! Yet right now that isn’t feasible, so I am at the library weekly picking out books for both my kids and I.

Thinking about all of this helped me realize that our trips to the library are about more than just great literature. They are about community, identifying with other readers, forming connections over common interests, having brief conversations where you realize at least one other person on the planet reads the same stuff you read. I can’t tell you how many introductions I’ve made while at the library – all while looking at the same section of books/authors. Plus, the library is cost-effective. We brought home 12 books yesterday – all of which cost us nothing (as long as I return them in time!!) and both of my kids have stuff they want to read/look through. Now, if we had one Kindle to share, and that Kindle contained most of our home library then we are all going to be fighting over it.

Besides, it’s so much more fun to pick out a book after looking it over, don’t you think? I think kids really benefit from counting how many books they get to pick out, exploring library shelves and learning how books are organized in the library, and finding other kids their age to play with and read with! I’m sure I’ll add a Kindle to my list of electronic devices within the next year, but I don’t want it to replace books in my house – I just want it to be a supplement, a way to understand that technology always moves forward and we are wise to be part of the progress, but equally as wise to evaluate how we can be part of the process without losing the value of face-to-face human interaction.

What do you think?

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