My seven-year-old announced that she wants to read ‘real’ books. She doesn’t want to read on any of our multiple electronic devices. Oh, she is happy to play games on them. She will make her father a digital cupcake and he will have to pretend to eat it.
It's July and she she wants to go to our public library. She wants to check out as many books as she can hold in her outstretched arms. She wants to use her own library card, which she carries in her own Mickey Mouse wallet. She wants to check out books that are pictures books and big kid books, which means books with chapters. She wants books with lots of chapters. She wants to curl up in my reading chair and ask if someday she can have her own special reading chair and read. She wants to feel herself going through the pages. She wants to see how much she’s read by holding the heft of the book in her fingertips. She wants to turn pages, she says, and see real words. Don't distract her. Don't read over her shoulder or ask if her is she wants a cold drink of water or stroke the top of her head. Don't hum. Especially don't hum old Beach Boy songs. She wants to read not play. She wants to live inside the book.
She announces every chapter she’s finished. She shows me how many pages she’s read and my job is to be impressed, and I am.
As a writer who is at peace with the digital age, who blogs and tweets and posts, I’m absolutely fine with reading on an electronic device. Except, that I still like books too. I want to hug her. However, she’s reading her book.