In some of the installments you’ll find lower down in this thread, I mentioned both the internal and the external unintended-consequences of the shift from paper to electronic reading.
- Internal: at least for me, information simply registers differently, and more deeply, from a traditional book or magazine page.
- External: reading from a printed source emits social cues about what you’re doing, and the presence of print around a house affects the environment in which children grow up.
Now readers on related aspects of this shift. First, from a person who has worked for many years as a teacher, in the United States and overseas:
The idea of "concept of book" is taught in most good Ed. School classes about reading. If you don't know to read from right to left, top to bottom, and whether to start front or back, you can't work the damn thing. You and I got the training from parental exposure. There are many children who do not have "reading parents" to stack their environment with cues.
A child seeing Mom work a Kindle does not get the same cues as when Mom is reading a book or magazine.
Growing up, my parents had National Geographic, Smithsonian, Newsweek, among others and I would pick them up when I got bored. Other than a couple of home improvement magazines, I do not subscribe to any today. I feel like I am cheating my children of any experience.