I take pride in my kids' love of books during these technological times. Maybe I got lucky. Maybe my sons, who are now 20 & 15, were on the cusp of the digital age before it really took off. But I'd like to think I had a hand in it. Barnes&Noble was like their Toys R' Us especially with my youngest. I took them to the library a lot when they were little. It was the one place where they could pick out 20 things, including movies, without having to hear me say "no." We lived and continue to live paycheck to paycheck so getting that much had them feeling ecstatic. We would also play fun learning games on their computers since our DSL dial-up was as slow as molasses. (I'm really aging myself here but I'm only 40 dang it.)
My youngest still likes to acquire books especially collectibles and hardcovers; he's just like his momma. My oldest recently came home with a book purchase. I smelled it as soon as he came through the door. (I know I have a book addiction but I'm not apologizing for it.) Not only was it a hardcover but it was about the ancient Greek gods and goddesses. POOF! Mind blown. I've read a lot and still take interest on that particular subject. I thought I lost him there for a while but just like a spacecraft that eventually comes back to earth so did my son. I do admit they spend more time on Xbox and their phones than I'd like but I'm still proud. When I feel like they're going down the rabbit hole, particularly with Xbox, I just go all psycho mom on them and they've learned the hard way that it's just easier to do what I say.
Video games and cell phones were around when they were younger but not like the way it is today. I'm not saying to halt progression or advancements because that's ridiculous. The only constant in life is change and you need to accept it because otherwise you become obsolete and unable to relate to others. There are so many positives attributed to advancements that they far outweigh the negatives but I do firmly believe that some of the old school ways need to stay, such as books and libraries. Books transcend time so much so that I've connected with a lot of people on Goodreads who are in their 20's and enjoy the classics as much as I do. Libraries are great for people on a budget not to mention that it plants the roots for a child's love of reading. The fun and informative workshops are great for kids and adults alike not to mention the numerous author meet & greets. I know it also helps that my kids frequently see me reading and/or writing. I'm not completely innocent because I too am guilty of spending quite a bit of time on my phone but reading an actual book not only gives your eyes a break it also gives you something tangible in an increasingly intangible world. We need that. Kids need that. Watching a beautiful sunset is different than seeing it in a video or a post so we all need to spend more time in the actual world than the virtual one.
So, if your kid's more digitally addicted than you'd like start off slow by getting them an eReader. If there's a series your kid particularly enjoys get them the actual book instead of the eBook. If there's a new release they had their eye on do the same thing. Get the love of reading planted first then slowly slip in a book. I know it's sneaky but it'll be our little secret. If your kid's still a tyke take frequent trips to your local library. Not only does it save you money but it's a great bonding experience. My kids still remember their trips to our library all these years later. We face different challenges than our parents did so we just need to be a little more creative in our efforts.