Another question is what method of reading is best, a physical book, an electronic reader or an IPad? As always, there are advantages and disadvantages for all. One of the biggest disadvantages of reading on an IPad is on-line distractions; messages, games and other media to name a few. This means you are never fully focused and do not become immersed in the act of reading. But an IPad is a brilliant tool for research and instant answers. An electronic reader has a level of screen luminance which can lead to visual fatigue; this can present itself as tired, burning and itchy eyes. One advantage of this method of reading is direct access to a multitude of books without having to carry them! For those with particular reading needs, for example dyslexia, an electronic reader can be of great benefit as the device’s features can be tailored to suit a preferred reading method; for example, the size or style of the text, the line spacing or the length of text on each line. When reading a physical book, numerous studies have shown memory retention and focus to be much better compared to other methods. The tactile nature of a book can give a sense of progress, you can see how many pages you have read and how many more you have to go; this often adds to the sense of the story unfolding and progressing. However, as expats, moving is often part of life and moving a large number of books is not always possible or practical. Therefore, the answer to the original question of what method of reading is best is not a straightforward one. But as an avid reader and an enthusiast of the written word I’m sure you can guess what my preferred method is.
If a student needs inspiration on what to read, they can always speak to the librarian and together they can investigate different reading options. If you wish to help or encourage your child to read more, but need some ideas, a website that can be helpful is noted below:
Within the book section of this site there are individual book reviews, suggested reads for various age groups, book lists and a very informative tool; the recommended age rating.
What is evident is that reading is advantageous for many reasons and we should all be doing more of it, this includes parents and teachers as well as our students. It’s just the smart thing to do!