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I often have a similar conversation with friends and co-workers and I'm always in the minority opinion, but I think kids are better today than I can ever remember.  Parents are better today, too.  I have to laugh when people want to reminisce of the good ol' days of the 1970s when I grew up.

Maybe I'm hopelessly optimistic but I think even with all of today's problems things are much improved.  Or maybe I'm just traveling in better circles.
 

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I'm 28 and have been a reader since I was young.  I devoured books as a kid and all through high school.  My reading dropped drastically when I went to college, as there was a whole lot of required reading.  After my kids were born, I started reading more and I do so love it again!  I was interested to see the reactions of my friends and family when I got my Kindle.....my younger brother is super jealous and wants one of his own and most of my friends think it's pretty cool.  My parents thought it was interesting, but not as much as my peers.
 

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Ok, not sure that I've had the same reactions.... I teach HS and my 15-18 year olds actually said," I know I would read more with one of those kindle things... its like an ipod for books"  another quote, " man I can't wait until all our textbooks get put on something like that".....
Most of my HS'ers have not big readers but.... I think this crew that is coming through now are the ones that were helped with the Harry Potter books and the Twilighters.....
my daughter is 25 and she is not a big reader (to my dismay)... She even showed an interest in the kindle  :) (maybe someday????)
 

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Because of this thread, we started talking about this at dinner last night. I asked my kids how much they remembered us (my husband and I) reading to them. They both said they remembered us reading to them every night before bed, although they remember their father reading to them more than me (which is true. Something about reading out loud makes me sleepy. I think it has to do with the way I breathe). My daughter noted that this went on for quite a while...until she was in fourth or fifth grade and my husband would be reading chapter books. My son said, "Even though Dad read more, Mom, you were always the best for picking out and buying us really good books." Did that make me feel good! Actually, from 1996-2000 I had a job where I traveled a lot; they were at the age where they always wanted me to bring back a present. I got the idea to always bring back a book about the place I had been to or by a local author. Since I was traveling quite a bit to Denver, my son had a good collection of books about the Rockies and the west.

They also noted that Jim Dale read to them quite a bit...the same 7 books, over and over, multiple times.

I also asked about required reading. My son to read many of the "classics" -- Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, etc. My daughter's school (she goes to a different HS) has a suggested list with 3 to 7 books. The list comes out twice a year and they have book groups for the books on the list. Things she has read include The Book Thief, Persepolis, The Color Purple, To Kill a Mockingbird, Speak, Things Fall Apart, Heart of Darkness, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

L

 

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My mother read to me when I was really little, and also played board games with me.  In the sixth grade, I had a dynamite teacher who spent several hours twice a week reading to us.  We heard "The Secret Garden", "David Copperfield", "Cheaper by the Dozen", "The Good Master", "The Chestry Oak"', among others.  I still reread these books.  Of course, by then, I had devoured the elementary school library, so I was a very willing audience.  I am very happy that our daughter reads to her babies, and is taking up our banner...
Wondering about the Kindle for the young people.  They do like the gadgets, but also I remember the color and B&W illustrations almost as much as the words.
 

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I've always been a reader, my sister started reading at 2 and I started at 3 (because I was very good at conning my then 6 year old sister into reading to me).  My parents actually had to argue with me to get me to stop reading.  It would be time to bed, I would claim I needed to go to the bathroom, and an hour later my parents would come check on me and I was still in the bathroom, reading. 

The negative reactions to reading I got in school.  Other kids didn't believe I had already finished the reading assignment (and was therefore reading something else while they still had their reader out) and teachers would complain that I was reading during class (but I knew the material, so why complain?).  When I got older, I got pretty close to some of my teachers.  I frequently already knew the book we were discussing and blazed through summer reading lists. 

My youngest sister-in-law will be a college freshman in the fall (she's 20 years younger then my husband).  She wasn't a big reader as a child until I mentioned to her mother that she might need her eyes checked.  A few months later with a pair of glasses and the discovery of Harry Potter she's a pretty steady reader.  I'd still like her to read more, but she does have other interests.  She likes my K2 and wouldn't mind having one for the fall.  I'm keeping it in mind for a graduation present.

I think we're all going to come across negative reactions.  My mother thinks it's a waste of money for a gadget (she also didn't like the ipod, the computers, the TV, or anything else I spent more then $5 on other then my Civic).  She uses paperback swap. 

I do believe some of the reactions we get are jealousy based, the person can't afford it and instead of being honest and saying "it's neat but out of my price range at least for now" they say something negative.  I have to laugh a bit at some people who go on about how it's just an expensive toy and a waste of money.  I can guarantee the person saying it spends plenty of money on some other hobby I don't have: motorcycles, diving, overseas travel, star wars figurines. 

Lara Amber





 

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I just downloaded free Pride & Prejudice.  I want to read all of Jane Austen's classics.  I'm surprised that no one has suggested Jane Austen for the Book Club.
 

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Being a geezerette, I remember reading forever, I don't remember my folks ever reading to me, but I dearly loved fairy tales (still do).  I started baby sitting at 12ish and my aunt could not believe I could baby sit with a book in one hand and an apple (fruit kind) in the other.  I still love to read and even though my brother is an author, he only reads what he writes, my sister reads occasionally, but my cousin (who is taking care of my other K1) is as voracious as I am.  

Once we were stationed in a small town in Wisconsin and the neighbor boy and I were competitors in the library summer reading program.  I remember being furious because he read more than one book at a time, that was cheating  ::) but we tied and both got a certificate.  He is a history professor in a Wisconsin upper-state university.

 

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ProfCrash said:
Many parents allow their kids to watch a ton of tv and play a ton of video games. Maybe if more parents set hard tv and video game limits their kids would find the time to read a book. It drove me nuts as a kid that I could not watch as much tv as my friends but I appreciate those limits now.
I was just talking to my friend about the limited tv channels we had back in the 1960's. A good thing as I would read more. My parent's took all four of us to the library and we all love to read. In middle school my father wasn't happy with my choice of books, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew etc....He thought I should be reading science books, history and dictionaries. I like to read all of those now but not back then.

My 8 year old grandson and his family live with me. Since a young age I have read to him. If left unwatched he would play video games & watch tv. We put limits on how much he can play for the video games. He's an only child but plays with a lot of friends that are into video games. Lately I've downloaded some of the Magic Tree House books that are just becoming available on Kindle. We read them together and I try to put animation into my voice. Last night I told him before we read the book to pretend he was in the tree house. He loves to turn the pages and make the pictures larger. I also let him bookmark the page when we are done.

I have a friend who's kids like to read. A way that she punished them was to make them go in their room and read. I have a lot of friends who like to read but the initial cost of the Kindle is an issue.
 

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Avalon3 said:
I just downloaded free Pride & Prejudice. I want to read all of Jane Austen's classics. I'm surprised that no one has suggested Jane Austen for the Book Club.
I would join that book club. I'm a huge Jane Austen fan. Mr. KM is reading Pride & Prejudice right now and loving it. I never thought I'd be able to get him to read it, let alone have him enjoy it!

And for the thread topic - I helped at my DD's jr high yesterday in the Snack Shack - we sell snacks during the lunch periods. I had my Kindle with me to read during the slow times. I've had it with me before but no one commented on it before. Yesterday I demoed it over and over - the kids loved it! I suppose the kids that aren't readers didn't pay attention but from what I could see, most of them were reading/carrying pleasure reading books with them. I think a lot of kids read. If the parents read, the kids will most likely be readers. If not, they really don't stand a chance.
 

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My nieces and nephews want Kindles now that both of their parents have one. I doubt that my 7 year old niece is going to get a Kindle for her birthday but she is trying.

Kids tend to mimic their parents. If a parent reads a lot and reads to them, the child is likely to read. If the parents read off of a Kindle, the child is likely to associate reading with the Kindle as well as books.

 

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I have been a reader for as long as I can remember. I always carried books with me where ever I went.  From Ramona the Pest, to Hamlet. I was something of an anomaly though, my friends always looked at me funny when I would bow out of whatever shenanigans they were getting into and go grab my book. I recently went to stay with some friends for a visit and when I asked about something to read, as I had finished the two books I brought with me, they offered me a copy of Cosmopolitan. Not quite what I had in mind....
My daughter, 10, now reads just like her mom. She always has a book with her and will pull it out to read any time there is a lull in activity. Even my 18 mo. son loves books! We all read to him everyday!
 

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The 17 year old and 15 year old granddaughters read constantly, both want my Kindle.  The 14 and 9 year old grandsons, not so much.  And all love video games and computers.

Betsy
 

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I am 23, and i must say, i always HATED reading.  However, i have always gotten those emails from Borders with coupons every single week, and kept seeing stories that interested me - so one day about 2 years ago, i said to my fiance at the time, "lets go to borders and pick up a book - i want to start reading, they say it is good for you"....and ever since, i LOVE it - i equate the books i read to watching the best episode you could imagine of a show like Law and Order - something i cant wait to watch every week.  I dont know what sparked the interest to me, but i just wanted to read all the sudden, and i love it....
Also, i must mention, i work in IT - i play video games (and bought myself a Playstation 3), i play the piano, and i love watching TV - so i dont think it is a matter of there being other things to do - i juust think of it like anything else...some people love broccoli, and some dont...well some love reading and some dont - just cause i have lots of steak doesnt stop me from eating broccoli if i like it....and just cause i have a playstation and play games, doesnt stop me from reading.

still no kindle yet though.....DYING to buy one, but cut backs at my job have made it cost prohibitive for right now
 

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mominsky said:
I am 23, and i must say, i always HATED reading. However, i have always gotten those emails from Borders with coupons every single week, and kept seeing stories that interested me - so one day about 2 years ago, i said to my fiance at the time, "lets go to borders and pick up a book - i want to start reading, they say it is good for you"....and ever since, i LOVE it - i equate the books i read to watching the best episode you could imagine of a show like Law and Order - something i cant wait to watch every week. I dont know what sparked the interest to me, but i just wanted to read all the sudden, and i love it....
Also, i must mention, i work in IT - i play video games (and bought myself a Playstation 3), i play the piano, and i love watching TV - so i dont think it is a matter of there being other things to do - i juust think of it like anything else...some people love broccoli, and some dont...well some love reading and some dont - just cause i have lots of steak doesnt stop me from eating broccoli if i like it....and just cause i have a playstation and play games, doesnt stop me from reading.
Mominsky - keep checking the Buy board here, or Amazon, or even e-bay for a good price, they are out there. If you are loving to read now, just you wait :D In the meantime stick around here it's a very nice place to be ;)

still no kindle yet though.....DYING to buy one, but cut backs at my job have made it cost prohibitive for right now
 

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I'm 25 and I was not much of a reader until the age of 23 and a half or so. And because of the Kindle, I do more reading. But you are right, a huge chunk of Generation Y are more into video games, I-Pods, Social Networking, etc.
 

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NessaBug said:
All that being said, when I was in high school and college, I read so much for class, I never read for fun.
I know what you mean you read so much for class that reading becomes this thing you dread because you know you have to have x amount of pages read by xx date. Deadlines are not enjoyable.

But the trick is to expose kids to "fun" books. Think about how many kids (some are now adults) started reading with the HP series or now with the Twilight series. The books they read in school may not be to their likes. They may like reading, but not know it because of what they associated it with.
 

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I joined just to respond to this.  I am also 22 (for a few more days) and love the Kindle (received it as an early gift for my birthday).  When I asked my Dad for it however, he said, "why do you want that, that's for old people."  I still do not know why he believes this.  Every person my age that I have shown the Kindle to immediately wants one.  My fiance, who was ready to hate it, especially for the flash, ordered one the day after I received mine.  I wanted it particularly because it gives me the chance to read more.
I think most of the aversion to the Kindle is the price (especially when they could get a netbook for the same price) and that you can't go to a store and play with one before ordering.  Also, many are waiting for the technology to "mature," knowing that color e-ink is just around the corner.
 
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