For the children’s literature class I teach, students read seven children’s novels over the course of the semester. Although students have always had the option to purchase the books as ebooks, this fall semester is the first time students have been required to bring an iPad to class. I was curious about their experiences with reading the novels as ebooks, so I asked what they like about this experience.
Their responses centered around the word flexibility.
- Ease of purchase: “It was easier than going out and buying a book.”
- Cost: “I chose to read this book on my iPad on the Kindle app because it was the cheapest option.”
- Portable: “I also have the Kindle app on my phone, and because I almost always have my phone with me, I could read on the go anytime.”
- Convenience: “I carry my iPad with me much more often than I do my books so I was able to read when I had free time on campus or other places. I was surprised by how much I liked it.”
- Ease of use: “I actually don’t mind reading the electronic version of books. Its usually a larger page to read and easy to turn the pages. It is also nice to use for a class where there are assignments because in the iBook app I can actually take notes within the book that aren’t in the way when reading.”
Students have preferences when it comes to reading, and we can honor these by giving students choices in their reading format. These students’ own words serve as a reminder to me as I get ready to make decisions about required books for next semester.