Monday, January 25, 2010

Rekindling Reading Perspectives Part II

So, I finished Sarah’s Key on the Kindle. And I must say, the experience was an overwhelmingly positive one. For me, the best part was not knowing exactly how many pages I had left. Instead of feeling like I had to “save” reading for when I had extra time, I allowed myself to read on the treadmill, at the doctor’s office, on-line at the grocery store. Until beginning this experiment, I had never given much thought to how much book length and free time controlled my reading life. The Kindle has me thinking about how I can make more time for reading.

And as it turns out, it has my nine year old son thinking, too. In my house, we have been talking a lot about the future of publishing and how these devices will change the face of reading. My son, who I have introduced to you as a capable yet reluctant reader, very wisely said, “I would love it if I couldn’t see the end of my book. That’s the part I find overwhelming.”

Really? That’s interesting.

My next experiment is to download a book for him to read and see if not knowing how many pages are left help motivate him to read more as well. Could Kindle be a new tool for helping struggling and reluctant readers? One of the biggest obstacles we face with older strugglers is that they “pretend” to read books that are too hard because they want to be like their peers. If these kids were reading on Kindles, we could upload just-right reading material and nobody would have to know what they were reading. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I’m thinking this might be a grant waiting to be written. We’ll never know till we try.

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