Are we the final book worms?August 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 8 Comments
Tags: Bedtime stories, books, dogger, e-books, funny bones, iPad, iPhone, moving molly, reading, the snail and the whale
‘I have my reading glasses on mummy, it’s story time’.
This is a thought that struck me this evening at bedtime. We’ve read to our now three-year old son every night since he was just a few weeks old. Reaching the age when he was able to go and choose his favourites from the bookcase was a really special milestone. And instilling a love of books from a young age was something we felt proud to have started. Secretly we all want our children to be the ones that sit nicely on the carpet when they go to school don’t we? Do they still sit on the floor actually? Or would that require a risk assessment?!
We have some special favourites like The Snail and the Whale, Funny Bones, Beans on Toast and Wendy the Wide-Mouth Frog. Plus the entire range of the ‘That’s Not My’ books and anything Dr Seuss.
I’ve also dug my favourites out of my parent’s loft – Moving Molly (any Shirley Hughes), Where the Wild Things Are, Willy the Champ and Dogger (also Shirley Hughes?).
But tonight I offered the option of a library book or a story on the iPad. The instant response was ‘iPad story please Mummy’.
My mind then flitted to this morning. Bear had barely got his round belly into our bed when he lunged for my iPhone from the bedside table and announced that it was time for a game of Fruit Ninga.
It made me feel two no so nice things at the same time – guilty that I check my phone so frequently and a little sad that a phone is his preferred form of entertainment. I can pretty much guarantee that he’d choose Fruit Ninga or the ice cream catching game of Scoops over a toy anytime.
And it’s our fault of course for allowing it. But when you’re eating out an iPhone can be a god-send. We do always pack books, colouring, stickers and card games but the phone always wins. If you want to finish telling someone a story and eat more than just a mouthful of your tiramisu (it’s not to much to ask to have your cake, and eat it, is it?); sometimes e-toys are a must.
Back to the subject I originally intended to dissect; bedtime stories – I wonder if we’re the final generation of book worms – I mean real paper books with pages. Pages that, over the years get crumpled and creased, torn and doodled on.
Some of my favourite childhood books have the most amazing early drawings inside the front and back covers. That’s really special because it shows what stage I was at when the book in question was a favourite. It some books I’ve even drawn characters that I dreamt about – the dream people that partied at the bottom of the garden after dark.
However, I do have one vote in favour of new technology – the ability to record your child or yourself reading their favourite bedtime story. That’s pretty cool. And I’m sure this will escalate from voice only, to video via web cams with the characters of the story joining your child on screen.
My parents have a very early recording of me reading The Foot Book; another Dr Seuss classic I believe. And I knew it off by heart. I wonder if the first book bear loves enough to learn word for word will be a real book or an e-book. If it’s the latter, how will we treasure it and keep it for years and years? If that was the case I’m pretty sure we’d end up buying a real paper copy for him – to hopefully be passed on down the generations – maybe his grandchildren will ask what it is when presented with it. Who knows.