Illustrated Books for Children: Printed Books or E-Books?

I prefer to read printed children’s books to my daughter, and that’s why the books that I recommend on Books for Children all link to the print versions of their respective titles on Amazon.

There are a number of reasons I prefer printed kids books:

- A printed book can be easily picked up and read almost anytime and anywhere. It does not need to be plugged in or have charged batteries.

- A printed book is more conducive to flipping back and forth through pages, especially if jumping more than several pages at a time.

- There is something special about the feel of paper in your hand that only a printed book provides. Paper feels soft whereas an e-book reader feels hard.

- Children’s books that are most effective in large sizes due to the nature of their illustrations cannot be as big when in e-book format.

- E-book readers are generally heavier and bulkier than most books for children and are thus more tiring to hold.

- Some e-book readers heat up and can be uncomfortable when held or placed in your lap.

- When you have an e-book reader that is a tablet computer with a Web browser, a video player, and/or games, there’s some risk that your child will not focus on the book and instead will want to do those other activities.

Now, this is not to say that e-books do not have some real advantages. iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and other e-book readers are wonderful devices that you can be read in a dark room without any additional lighting needed, they are lighter to carry or take along on travel than doing the same with multiple books at a time, and e-books are less expensive. Plus, the disadvantage I mentioned about having other functions can also be an advantage in certain circumstances, such as when travelling with young children who need to be kept busy on a long flight or car trip.