Real book or e reader what is your preference?

When e readers first came onto the market there was outcry amongst some members of the public who felt that they would take over the literary world and completely replace real books in future years. This has not been the case as can be seen in most of our supermarkets where a variety of books from autobiographies to the latest romantic novel can be bought so is there a place for both?

The answer to this question is a resounding yes for most people as each has advantages and disadvantages. Probably one of the reasons why people choose an e reader is that a whole library of books can be stored on it and so especially if you are going away on holiday and anticipate reading a few books it cuts down on the amount of real books you need to take, reducing the space and weight taken up in your luggage. If you are reading whilst sunbathing the e reader can still be read as the screen allows it to be seen in bright light and there’s no need to worry about losing your place as it automatically restarts where you left off.

With all the advantages of e readers why are real books still a popular choice? We are creatures of habit and for some people the enjoyment they get from holding a book and turning the pages can never be replaced by a handheld device no matter how sophisticated.

Shopping is not what it used to be

Many people see shopping, especially for non-essential items, as a bit of therapy. It is often referred to as retail therapy because for some it helps lift their mood.

During lockdown all the non-essential shops where clothes and many people had to turn to online shopping to feed their shopping habits. For many this is not the same and the fact that you have to go through the hassle of often paying for delivery and then paying again to return it if it does not fit, put many people off.

The shops have no reopened and people have started flocking to the centres. Although the shops are open, the experience is very much different from how it used to be. The majority of the clothing shops do not have their changing rooms open meaning that you cannot try anything on before you buy it. Many shops are even not allowing you to try coats etc on over the top of your own clothes due to the risk of contamination. For many of us, we simply cannot always walk into a shop and know that an item will fit. A pair of size 12 jeans in one shop may fit perfect but in another be too big or small. You will have to purchase items and then take them home to try them on before being able to decide if you want to keep them.  Shopping certainly has changed, but hopefully one day it will return to normal.

Are schools ready for the return of pupils

The government have announced that all pupils (unless ill or isolating) should return to school in September ready for the new term. Some students have now had 6 months off school and this has put a lot of pressure on parents and there is a worry that it is also affecting the mental health of many of the pupils too.

Although many are keen to see the schools return there is also a worry for parents and teachers as to how safe it will be and how social distancing is going to be maintained. Most schools have adopted a policy of keeping children within their own bubbles of either year groups or classes. This will allow them to try and limit the risk of spreading the virus if someone does become infected.

Not only have teachers got a lot of work to catch up on and may find that some pupils require a fair bit of time to re-establish a routine, they also have extra job roles such as cleaning equipment and possibly redoing lesson plans that involved close contact with others.

The first few months of returning to school will probably be quite hard and may require a fair few changes before proper routines can be established again.

Developing a love of books and reading in the young child

It is essential in these days of mobile devices that children are still given the opportunity to immerse themselves in books and reading not only for the enjoyment it brings but also because In our primary schools children are expected to reach a good level of reading ability by the time they enter key stage two at the age of approximately seven. This presents a huge challenge for some children who may be reluctant to read not only books, but any printed material and it can also be worrying for parents and teachers who are often searching for ways to inspire and encourage reading.

The demands of learning to read can be taxing to young children but one approach is to resist the temptation to insist that they read every day even though it is encouraged by many schools. Children need to be shown that there is a purpose to reading whether it be reading the instructions to a favourite game or reading a recipe to make a cake. This type of incidental reading can encourage children to read without them being aware that they are reading.

By encouraging the reading of magazines and comic books a reluctant reader can be inspired to read and although the vocabulary may not be extensive in this type of literature, they may tap into the child’s interest especially if the reading material about a hobby they enjoy.

Have libraries had their day?

How long has it been since you visited a library? For many people, the answer will be I cannot remember because it has been so long ago, so is it time to see these large, often old and draughty buildings closed for good?

The purpose of libraries was originally to give the general population access to books irrespective of social class or financial status. This meant that expensive books used for extending knowledge, gaining information or simply to provide entertainment were readily available to borrow for a few weeks at a time for no cost. This is still the case today as libraries provide a service that many people, some who struggle financially, rely on.

In more recent times with the growing use of technology libraries have evolved to provide individuals without internet access at home a place where they can use a computer to send emails and carry out research.

In many towns the library has also become a hub for meetings and training courses giving it a new lease of life and providing a much needed service to the community so perhaps libraries have not had their day after all but have moved with the times and are as relevant now as in the past.