Changing the way we read – iPad

Dan’s life is I.T. It’s what brings home the bacon and makes his brain tick to a contented tune. When a new gadget comes out on the market I know it is only a matter of time before one crosses the threshold of our home. My first reaction is usually, ‘Not another gadget’ and I tend to steer clear for a few weeks.

Meanwhile, my daughters are fighting over the latest ‘toy’. They are born in an age where they are practically teething over a mobile phone and using a mouse before they can scribble with a crayon.

After a few weeks I start to feel out of the loop and reluctantly mutter, ‘Come on then, show me what’s so fab.’

Well what is so fab in our house is… the iPad. It’s rich currency for good behaviour and shared around with careful observation.

Games can be downloaded for free or next to nothing. Books that ‘read aloud’ and classics are also available at the touch of a button – again many for free or at a fraction of the cost of a traditional book.

I never thought e-books would really supersede traditional books, but I can now see them having the potentional to be the way of the future. To have thousands of books stored in one portable, reader friendly device is a dream come true for literature lovers.


As a parent the iPad is the best educational ‘baby-sitter’ one could hope for when stuck waiting for a bus or a meal. Read aloud books are perfect for wriggly little ones.

At bed-time there is no need for a harsh light over a book, as the iPad brightness setting can be dimmed and gives enough light to read alone by. This week Charlotte & I have read Roald Dahl’s ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ and Dan is working his way through ‘War of the Worlds’ with Charlotte. Sophie has loved the interactive illustrations in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Toy Story’, as well as downloading read aloud books, that highlight the words as they are read.

Of course we shan’t be ditching the good ‘ole paper books in a hurry and there is something powerful about walking through a library stacked to the ceiling with words and thoughts. Visiting a second hand book shop holds another kind of magic, as the eye is drawn by some invisible force field to particular titles. When fingers touch the pages they dance across paper that has been held by another. There’s an added dimension to a book that’s been passed from one to another. A story behind a story.