My fourth grade son wants a Kindle. Well, if I was honest, he really wants a laptop and an iPhone. But he knows better than to ask for those things at nine years old, so he’s settled on asking for a Kindle.
He’s an avid reader. He’s a gifted reader. He blows his reading goals out of the water at every opportunity. He’s not a book worm… he has too much energy for that. But he loves to read.
At school, he can only check out two books a week. Those are typically read within a day or two of library day. While the public library with their unlimited book policy would be great, the library isn’t open every day and our schedule doesn’t typically allow for leisurely library afternoons.
I have a ton of children’s books on my iPad for our toddler. It’s turned out to be a great solution for trips, car rides, and “mommy needs some quite time” to keep an otherwise unruly toddler happy. My older son hasn’t ever seem interested in electronic books. He’s never asked for me to download books for him onto the iPad before. But this year he’s been started asking for Kindle.
There’s a lot that is appealing. Scholastic books has an e-reader for Kindle Fire. Kindle books are always cheaper than what’s available on the Apple store. And we can check out Kindle versions of books from our library.
But I’ve been slow to adopt technology for the kids. Maybe too slow. I’m concerned that he can also access movies and apps on a Kindle Fire. We’ve never been a super high-tech family. Our son doesn’t own a Nintendo DS. He uses an old iPhone as is iPod Touch, but can’t download new apps without my password (which he doesn’t have). He has an old Sony PSP with just six games. Sony has moved on to a new portable player, so those six games are the only games he’ll ever get. And he has to ask permission to use my iPad.
So I’m on the fence about the Kindle. I know my son will love it. I’m pretty sure he’ll use it. And I know that at some point it will go missing in the piles of stuff that’s like the tween version of a landfill that we call his bedroom only to be found weeks later after I’ve scolded him a few times.
I mentioned the Kindle request to my dad, the official “I need to have a BIG GIFT idea for Christmas” member of the family. Knowing my dad, he’s probably already purchased one for my son and it’s probably already wrapped and hidden somewhere in his house too. But at least until Christmas I can pretend that I’m still making up my mind about it.