Last week’s New York Times reported that our beloved Dr. Seuss books will soon be released in e-book format. Generations have enjoyed the likes of “Green Eggs and Ham,” and now parents and educators will be able to download the Dr. Seuss canon.
Interestingly enough, the article reports that although e-books for adult fiction have exploded over the last 5 years, children’s picture books have not followed suit. “Several publishers said e-books represent only 2 to 5 percent of their total picture book sales, a number that has scarcely moved in the last several years.”
Gee, I wonder why? I have heard the argument that e-books are more portable, convenient and even eco-conscious. I get that I could download several picture books onto my tablet for a vacation and not lug a backpack of books. Call me old fashioned but I still prefer to open up a traditional picture book while snuggling with a child and explore each page, handling it and turning the page.
The publisher calls this new move “a companion to print,” as the school market is very interested in digital books.
As long as we keep both options, I will be happy. I always get a lift visiting our children’s library in town when it is teeming with kids enjoying the playscapes and shelves of books, trying one out at a time.