As a new Kindle reader, I have been giving some thought to the value of paper books over digital and it is sad to think of a world that no longer needs real books. I am also grateful for the convenience of many books in my hand at once and find myself reading more fiction because it is suddenly accessible to read while nursing or rocking my toddler to sleep.
My preschooler is starting a reading program at school. This week he brought home his second “Bob” book to practice over the weekend. I instantly fell in love with the tiny worn paper back that came home protected by a little ziplock bag marked “return on Monday”. The well worn copy has been read by many children over the years as they sound out their very first words and memorize sight words as essential to basic reading as “the” and (well..) “and”.
I instinctively held the book close as I would an old family photograph or siddur (prayer book). And I found myself trembling with excitement as my son read to me for the very first time. I am filled with hope that reading will provide him with enlightenment, joy, laughter, adventure, insight and so much more. And when I hope and pray for these things, I am not picturing him with an e-reader but with three dimensional books of all kinds, mountains of them!