I love to read. Ask anyone who knows me well, and they will tell you that I enjoy reading a wide variety of genres and talking about the books I read. The smell of a new book is enticing, while the sound of the pages turning makes me smile. I will admit that I do a lot of my reading on my iPad these days, but I much prefer real books. It makes me sad to think about kids who may never develop the enchantment I have with books because of the easy access to an ebook. There is an upside to ebooks, I guess. Kids can have a book in their hands at all times if they are in the vicinity of a mobile device.
The students in my class are always welcome to bring their own device for reading, but I notice most often that the kids gravitate to book books. Yea! I have iPads loaded with rich literature available for students to checkout during Read to Self, but these kids also seem to enjoy turning the pages in a book. Research has shown that turning those pages helps to internalize learning. My kiddos practice the skill of tracking their thinking in their books, and that is much more fluid with a book in hand.
I will continue to offer a variety of access to text for my students. I believe it is important to offer my students choice, not only in what they are reading but also in the way they choose to receive the text. I just will not be one of the many educators I hear of who throw so much technology at their students it becomes fake or forced. Our kids deserve authentic experiences with text, and sometimes that means letting them decide - even if that choice is a good old book!