One of my favorite organizations called First Book has recently released electronic titles in its online marketplace. For a little background information, First Book provides low-cost literature to organizations serving children in need.
They are very excited about this new offering, but I’m undecided. After reading Carr’s research about how e-readers are changing how we read (reviewed in a previous post), I’m less thrilled about the option. There are undeniable environmental benefits, and we now have the ability to provide entire libraries with one device. But aside from the psychological/sociological/physiological effects of this new medium, what about cost? Some might propose providing a few e-readers for a larger population, but research I found a few years back showed that interest in reading was much higher when kids had books of their own (I will dig up this info and add a citation later).
Though I might agree that the benefits of making this material available outweigh any negatives, I’ll be interested to see more infomation on the logistics of how it works.
View the First Book announcement here.