This morning when I logged into my computer my first step was to log into Amazon to buy the book How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. I’ve been meaning to buy this book for awhile and after I attended the NCTE Annual Convention this year and heard him speak, I knew that I just needed to do it. Then I got to the Amazon page… Now, I’m an English teacher and I like books. I have lots of them. I like the feel of books, I like to hold books, I like to write in books. However, I also love my Kindle and every time I go to buy a book, I always have to stop and make a decision. Do I want the physical book that I love so much or do I want the convenience and flexibility of an ebook?
One of the ways I answer this is to determine how I’m going to use this particular book. With Tough’s book, I know that I’m going to discuss it with my colleagues and that they all have hard copies of the book that, when we meet, they will flip through referring to their notes and referencing page numbers. Typically, that would push me towards the hard copy so I can participate in the same way. However, the way that I read has changed. I still love books and like the feel of them in my hands but I read electronic texts more than paper texts now and I see this as an opportunity to show my colleagues the possibilities of electronic texts.