A Moment Lost: Camping with eBooks

East Cabin Village
East Cabin Village (Photo credit: polomex)

Earlier this week, I was camping with my children. (In a cabin. I’m not that crazy.) Naturally, being the overly-connected person that I am, I brought my computer.

When I was sneaking online, my three-year old daughter, Amelia, curled up on my lap, and said “Read me that book.” She pointed to the picture of the eBook I wrote called Reaching for Rainbows. I clicked on Reaching for Rainbows and read. It was easy to do and a nice moment.

Afterward, I went back to working on my blog. Amelia pointed to the book I reviewed last week, Colors of Me: “Now read me that book.” I couldn’t. We didn’t bring the book camping, and I didn’t have an eBook version downloaded.

On Amazon, I clicked “Tell the Publisher! I’d like to read this book on Kindle,” but it made me sad. My daughter wanted me to read a specific book to her, and I couldn’t. When I offered Amelia some of the physical picture books I brought, she wasn’t interested. She walked away. Moment lost.

After she walked away, I did a little more searching and found that Barnes & Noble has Colors of Me as a NOOK Book, but by that time, it was too late. The moment was already lost.

I know that the world of eBooks, print books, and publishing are still adapting. But the time it takes to adapt is time lost in the lives of our children. Why can’t publishers and retailers figure out an easy way to make eBooks universally available across all platforms? I applaud Cengage Learning for making Colors of Me available as an eBook. I just wish I would have found it faster.

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Author: Nessa

Librarian for people with visual and physical impairments, and mother of two sharp-witted alien children.

11 thoughts on “A Moment Lost: Camping with eBooks”

  1. It was a good moment with your daughter. And you learned something about ebooks. Maybe you can bring about some change in that arena? This blog is my first taste of this can of worms, and one I’ve already enjoyed a bunch. A good read. xo Julia

    1. It was definitely a great moment with my daughter. I just wish it could have lasted longer. Glad you enjoyed the blog post. I’m definitely interested in keeping up with the eBook revolution. Right now, I’m attempting to get my uTales eBook published on the Kindle and iBooks. The illustrator is re-formatting some files so we can upload on CreateSpace. It’s certainly has been an interesting and fun journey.

      1. I wish the very best luck to you! You are lightyears ahead of me with today’s technology! I admire your knowledge and your drive and ADORE your writing! Keep up the great work! xo Julia

  2. I love this post. I’m a picture book author (Keep Your Ear on the Ball, Tilbury, 2007) and firm believer in the value of holding physical books and turning paper pages, but I rarely do that. I LOVE my Kindle and iPad and uTales and MeeGenius way out of proportion to how much a person should love these things. I’m torn – ripped-to-shreds-torn, as I struggle to get a second book published so kids can hold my physical book and turn my paper pages. Aargh.

    1. As a mom who reads both eBooks and print books to her children, I can honestly say there’s little-to-know difference whether I read a picture book in print or on a screen. My daughter still sits on my lap. I still read the book.

      However, I am choosy and make sure I choose books, and not interactive eBook apps, to read. I think the major problem with a lot of new “eBooks” is that the level of interactivity is too high, which can distract from the bonding experience and story comprehension.

  3. Yes, a lost opportunity. I was resistent to e-books at first. Then I realized how convenient it was to carry around- a whole library in the palm of your hands. But yes, transitioning completely is going to take a long time. I work at a dental office and we’re slow at getting our paper charts onto the computer.

    1. It’s amazing how slowly things change. I love computers, eBooks, etc, so I tend to be an early adopter.

      I doubt there will ever be a complete transition from print to digital. You can’t read an eBook without some sort of power source, so print books will always beat them out in that category. I just wish that eBooks, especially picture books, were easier to access and find. Technology (and the bureaucracy behind it) never moves fast enough for me.

  4. Nessa, I enjoyed your post and the information you presented. The articles are good to ponder. We’re in such a time of transition. It will be interesting to see how everyone figures it out. I believe they can co-exist.

    1. I definitely believe the books can co-exist. I love being able to download books at 2 a.m. when I can’t sleep. I seem to be a novelty among librarians with my love of eBooks. My children seem to be headed the same way, if Amelia’s reaction is any indicator.

    1. Campgrounds with cabins are must when a three-year old and a five-year old are involved. There must be some non-fun place available for timeouts. I’m a meanie.

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