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Devices vs. Physical Books

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

We made an app - Story Eggs, in case you haven't heard of it.

Of course we are going to say that we think.....paper books are better...? Really?!?

I believe that reading apps have their own share of benefits (which I'll list later), but when you are reading with kids, or having your kids read books, I do think physical books are a lot better.

Let us count the ways -

  • Devices are distracting. It's too easy to just click, swipe, and touch things. My kids can easily sit through a reading session of 2-3 books, but if you try to read a story on the iPad, they'll just try to click the 'next page' button as fast as possible

  • It's easier to take your time and talk about the book/illustrations. This is connected to the previous point, but with books on a device, even my third grade students like to just flip through as fast as possible on Epic so they can get to the end. They like the ease with which they can "finish a book" and move on to a new one. This is why DEAR time in my classroom means 'no devices".

  • It's easier to curl up with a book.

  • It's fun to flip the pages.

  • Devices aren't great for the eyes.

  • Reading books on devices is just adding the list of things that we have kids to on devices these days. There are so many studies showing how addicted our kids (and adults) are to their devices. Let's try to hold off from this happening for as long as possible.


Yeah. We really not trying to be hypocritical here. Why devices are okay sometimes...

  • They are convenient and portable. If you're going on a trip, it's much easier to carry one iPad than it is to carry 50 books.

  • You can't get books like Story Eggs as a physical book. There are also other things that apps do, like give information when you click on things, that aren't easily duplicated in physical books.

  • They're cheaper. Physical books cost like $5-15 PER BOOK. The Epic reading app gives you access to thousands of books. Story Eggs as well gives you access to a number of books for a far cheaper price than physical books cost.

  • Many of the digital books have animations and music. Music is nice. Animations are a bit distracting.

So...what does this all mean?

  1. Be selective when choosing digital books for your children.

  2. Don't use digital books as babysitter. Be as engaged with your kids when they read online as the same as when you're reading a real book to them.

  3. Use physical books for the majority of your child's reading. It slows down the process and gives them a chance to enjoy the books and the illustrations.

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