Is e-reading the best option for young readers?

Experts say nothing will beat benefits of paperback book

Like most people these days, Brian Stasewich owns a tablet, computer and plenty of other useful devices, but when it comes to reading with his first grade daughter Danielle he tries to stay as far away from technology as possible.

“I want my child to know what a table of contents is; I want my child to know what a glossary is, and what it is for and how to use it. You don’t get that with I Pads,”Stesewich said.

Stesewich said he notices that Danielle has a stronger interest in stories when she read paper books.

“We’lll sit and we’ll talk about the book and discuss ‘would you like to see this happen’ or she’ll come up with an idea, ‘hey what if so and so did this and that?” I’m not sure we would get that in depth with a more technology based book,” Stesewich said.

Deb Olufs said e-readers can take away a lot of the benefits associated with reading.

“When you’re reading something and you can hit a button and it goes off somewhere else and there are bells and whistles and it’s showing you what the characters are like I think we are losing something. Because reading is meant to allow each of us to picture the story,” Olfus said.

Olfus recommends parents have their child read out loud rather than using an e-reader narrator. That way parents can catch mistakes children make in their reading.

“There is a huge difference between ‘the boy bit the dog’ and ‘the boy was bit by the dog’ and parents and teachers help an emerging reader catch that,” Olfus said.

Besides all of the benefits of language skills experts point out that bonding time is a huge benefit to bedtime reading.

“Nothing can replace a parent we need to have parents snuggling in and reading with their kids as long as parents can do that, “Jeff Reiland a Child and Family Therapist at Gundersen said.

Brian said he sees an improvement in Danielle’s reading everyday but admits his favorite part of it is the time and the stories they get to share.

“The best thing about having a tangible book is the batteries don’t run out you don’t have to plug it in you get to spend as much time as you want with your child,” Stesewich said.