I find myself being torn between the love of the printed book and the immediacy of the eBook. When I spend ten dollars on the latest YA book on my phone or tablet, what have I really bought? I want the book to be up on my shelf. I want to look at the word on the paper, hold it in my hands, and feel the pages flip in my fingers. Plus, does anyone's thumb feel worn out by the end of an eBook?
But all kidding aside, there are very important developmental factors to this dilemma that people don't consider- especially parents. Many of us are tempted to buy our children tablets so they can read more or experience their ABC's or a different language. But much brain research has been done debunking the need for technology when learning to read. I am well-aware that child-rearing has changed, the world has changed, but fundamentals of learning have not. The brain still forms synapses the same way it did one hundred years ago. The need for eBooks in our elementary classrooms is completely moot. Children's brains NEED books- the paper kind.
So too, do adult readers. The opportunity to go to a bookstore or library and surround yourself with printed literature is adventurous. I'm sure I'm not the only one that can get caught up for hours at a time. People are spending less and less time in libraries and book stores than ever before.
I have noticed in my classroom that handwriting is a dying art- and how sad! Students are more apt to rush to the computer to type something, ask for the PDF or eBook of a novel we are reading in class. But I say we keep it old-school for as long as possible, especially when developing a love of literature.