Some readers are serious about physical books only.
They don’t count audiobooks as “real” reading.
And an e-reader? Never.
I am not that kind of reader.
I’m committed to great books and great stories, and I want to use the available tools to make those great books part of my life, even when I can’t sit down with a physical paper book.
Why would I say no to the opportunity to hear a professional narrator read me a great new release while I drive to and from the gym in the morning or when I’m folding laundry? There’s no way for me to be reading a physical book while I do those things, so an audiobook is the perfect answer for me.
Similarly, I love that when I go on vacation, I can pack 25 books on my phone or e-reader without filling up my suitcase or having to drag those through airports.
And I feel the same way about books for my children.
Sometimes, a physical picture book is the best option. Sometimes an audiobook is the answer. And sometimes an e-book is just the right solution.
I’ve talked at length on my blog about audiobooks for children, but I haven’t talked much about using e-books for kids.
I mentioned a few months ago that I’d started using the WEYV app (you can try it free for two months here (no credit card required!) with the code JANSSEN18) and it has a whole section of e-books for kids. As we’ve been using it, I’ve realized I’ve never shared some of the ways we use e-books in our family.
Here are 4 times when using e-books for kids is a lifesaver:
4 Times to Use eBooks for Kids
- When you’re traveling. In the summer of 2014, the girls and I lived with my parents in Las Vegas for about six weeks during Bart’s MBA internship in Arizona. After six weeks of that, we decided we all hated being apart, so we rented a little house in Arizona and spent the last six weeks together. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a library card, so I checked out SEVENTY picture books from my parents’ library and took them to Arizona with us (turns out we could get a library card and also, I didn’t lose a single one of those 70 picture books). Anyway, most of the time, you do not want to be taking a massive stack of heavy books on vacation with you, and being able to read e-books to your children is such a great solution. WEYV’s library has a whole slew of great e-books for kids and you can sort them quickly by age range and it takes up no extra space in your luggage.
- When you need some variety. For my newly-minted reader, practice is the MOST important thing for her to keep improving her reading skills, and sometimes the best thing to make her excited about practicing is giving her variety. When she’s resistant, it’s so nice to offer her an e-book from the WEYV collection instead to practice with instead. The novelty of reading on my phone or a tablet is just enough different to make her excited about some practice.
- When you need another voice. WEYV has a whole slew of e-books for kids that include audio narration (and you can just click a button to show all of the e-books that have a narration option – so easy!). If my voice is shot or we’re in a car where it’s very hard to read loudly enough for those in the backseats to hear, I love that someone else can read to them straight off my phone or one of our tablets. They can listen through headphones or we can connect it to the car’s bluetooth and all listen together through the car speakers. Voices saved.
- When you need a book RIGHT NOW. There’s no question that finding great books for kids takes a lot of effort. You go to the library and the books you want are checked out. Your children are tired of all the books you own because they’ve read them a million times. And you don’t have time for a library or bookstore run. When a whole library of new e-books is at your fingertips on your phone, tablet or computer? Well, that feels like the mom hack to end all mom hacks. 30 seconds and your child can be reading something new and fun.
I’d love to hear how you use e-books in your family!
And if you haven’t used e-books before, sign up for a two month free trial of WEYV (you don’t even have to put in your credit card!) here with the code JANSSEN18.
Photos by Heather Mildenstein