Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Great Book Debate

I feel the need to write about something other than the endless snow that is threatening to totally bury our house and turn us into mole people who have to tunnel our way back to the surface. Seriously, I'm really thinking that I should have brought the snow shovel into the living room, just in case.

So, in an effort to ignore the fact that I currently reside in an igloo, I decided to involve all of you in an ongoing debate my hubby and I are having. Real books vs. digital books. Granted this isn't quite to the level of a Pepsi vs. Coke or a toilet paper over vs. under debate (and there is only one right answer to both of the above examples) but it's being hotly contested in our home.

Here's how it started, I would like to get a student encyclopedia for the kids. And Britannica recently released their new 2010 edition. I think we should get the old fashioned print edition. But hubby thinks we should get the computer version. His point, and its a valid one, is that this is a computer age and the kids need to learn to be computer literate early on. Plus the cd version is cheaper, takes up less space and won't make the movers sigh and roll their eyes if we ever move again.

My point is that I want the kids to also know how to look things up in actual books. Not just typing in a few letters and having the computer do all the work. I want them to figure out how to spell fungus or emu or Kilimanjaro and how to find it in a reference book. Plus, I confess, I like books. Ok, I love books. I like to be able to hold a book in my hand and mark it all up. I like to see it on my bookshelf and know that it's there.

So the debate rages on. Of course with hubby in a different country at the moment, it's kind of long distance debate...which I'm pretty sure gives me the advantage.


  1. I fully agree with you - get the books. This is a skill still needed and not often enough practiced. They can learn to use the computer looking up the many, many other resources online.

    Sorry 'hubby', I still love you. ~Shel

  2. I say get the CD version of the encyclopedia, because a full set of hardback books just takes up too much space. But make sure they use a real paper dictionary. It's just as instructive and much smaller. The next time Emma asks, "Mom, how do you spell chocoholic?" you can answer, "Why don't you try looking it up."

  3. Oh wait, I called your daughter Emma, but the real fake name is Ella. Have you called your kids by their fake names while teaching or scolding yet? :)

  4. Knowing how you love apples, the iPad and e-reader can't be far away.