After years of resistance, the public has finally come around to the idea of eBooks. While in 2010, eBook sales were around 60 million for the whole year, in 2014 that amount was sold in the first quarter alone.
Part of the reason for this growth is that the public is growing more accepting towards the idea of books on screen, but another part is that the technology has grown. While we certainly feel that print books have plenty of advantages and will never fade away completely, the advantages that the eBook format presents are becoming more attractive by the day, especially for parents with young children.
Here are some of the most compelling reasons that more and more parents and children are reading eBooks together:
If you told someone twenty years ago that they would someday be able to tuck an entire library under the crook of their arm, they would have committed you. Now, this capability is a reality we live in.
While books, especially hardcovers, take up huge space and quickly become heavy, eBooks allow families to tuck thousands of reading choices inside a bag next to a change of socks, a snack and even some toys. Imagine trying to store the entirety of Dr. Seuss’ works in a duffel on vacation, let alone all of the Song of Ice and Fire books.
EBooks save retailers money on printing, shipping, storage, logistics and countless other areas that sap revenue into overhead. As a result, they are keen to pass these savings onto consumers to encourage them to buy books on a more efficient and cost-effective format. EBooks are often 30 percent to 80 percent cheaper than normal versions of the stories, and that does not even count discount sales.
On top of that, libraries have begun free eBook lending programs that rival checking out a book in every way. There is no need to return the book; “borrowing” it does not prevent others from having a copy, and many libraries let you keep the book as long as you need.
Engagement and Functionality
Some children are natural bookworms, but for others getting them to read is a struggle. EBooks alleviate this problem by giving children something shiny and attractive to engage with. Compared to a physical book that they may consider dull even though others find it exciting, these children will love the interactive options, the ability to have the story read aloud and the general cartoon/video game package that many eBooks create.
In this type of reading environment, they can enjoy seeing words highlighted or pronounced as they go. That way, kids who become frustrated at their abilities can have guidance without an adult or a peer taking notice of their struggle with certain words. Some eBooks also have fun sounds and animations to accompany the text, and nearly all understand the value of colorful pictures that look beautiful on LCD screens.
An Alternative to Other Forms of Stimulation
Let’s face it, parenting can be a trial, especially in public places. Sometimes, you just want your child to be distracted enough to make through the car ride or even the grocery store checkout. Millions of parents have begun handing their child a smartphone so that they can momentarily fiddle with a video game or watch cartoons. While these activities can be moderately enriching in the short run, the inevitable repetition offers little for the child to gain.
As an alternative, children’s eBooks allow them to engage with a story at any time. Handing them a tablet or smartphone no longer means mindless, passive entertainment. Instead, the child is being introduced to new experiences and ideas while stimulating their imagination.
That is the real power of eBooks, after all. They give us a choice in this digital age to still appreciate art, and that appreciation is literally at our fingertips any second of the day. So go ahead and give our selection of free children’s eBooks a try, and open your child’s mind to entire new worlds instead of the same battle between birds and pigs they have seen a million times before.