The Modern Reader

We read every day. Whether it be in the form of 300-page novels or 3-minute online articles, we are always engaging with the written word in some form or another. As technology advances and information spreads ever-rapidly, children should also cultivate good reading habits, so that they will be equipped with the necessary reading skills and learn to process information better as they grow older.

Why Read?

Reading promises many benefits for children of all ages. Not only does reading expand their vocabulary and improve their language skills, it also allows them to develop their creativity and exercise their brain, by helping them to learn how to perceive and understand the world around them.

Reading also develops a child’s empathy. It allows children to immerse themselves in the thoughts and lives of others, and this can be a useful skill as they grow older and start to form more relationships with other people. It is important for them to learn to be tactful and understanding when communicating with others.

Reading in the 21st Century

Parents can choose between two types of reading materials for their children: eBooks or printed books. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Of course, nothing can quite compare to the feeling of real paper on your fingers as you turn the pages of a physical book. Printed books, being offline texts, offer minimal distractions for children, and can encourage a better reading experience. Physical books also do not require any charging or batteries like eBooks. However, it may be difficult to get printed books should libraries and bookstores be closed due to COVID-19.

Parents can introduce reading to their child through eBooks, which are the environmentally-friendly alternative to printed titles. They can provide children with just as much knowledge and opportunities for learning. One advantage of using eBooks is that they can offer more specialised support for a child’s learning, especially if he or she has any learning difficulties. Ebooks can cater to a wider variety of needs than physical books can. However, too much screen time can be bad for children and their eyesight.

Can eBooks and Printed Books ever see eye to eye?

Reading can be done both online and offline. It is up to the parents to decide how to strike a balance between the two. It would be good for children to be exposed to both printed books and eBooks so that they can be aware of the tools they have at their disposal as they grow older.

Furthermore, with the help of technology, there are even companies that offer printable books, so that children can have fun reading and creating their own personalised books at the same time. For parents who may find themselves and their child spending more time at home during COVID-19, being able to make one’s own DIY book can help keep their child engaged as well. An example can be seen from Singapore’s The House of Mini Picture Books, which offers free and original stories for children aged 4 to 12. Their stories can either be read online or downloaded and printed as picture books.

Parents may remember having silent reading sessions in school when they were younger. As time passes, the importance of nurturing good reading habits still remains. Today, reading does not have to be limited to printed text, and with technology, children can have access to reading materials almost anywhere they go.

So whether your child is in school or at home, there are many ways he or she can cultivate their reading skills. Try exploring some options with your child today; you never know what you might find!