Netflix for Books?

I’ve seen many ads on Pinterest for Epic! children’s book subscription, a digital download service tailored to young bookworms. They tout that kids receive personalized selections based on previously read books, and the more they read, the better the recommendations get. You have to have some kind of digital device (phone, computer, tablet), and it’s $8 a month with your first month free. However…

WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKING LIBRARY?! IT’S FREE!

Part of the enjoyment of going to the library is looking through stacks of books and finding something different every time. You might get into a pirate phase, which morphs into explorers, then into the history of Greenland (did you know it’s not that green?). Or you read books that are cat themed until you see a book about dinosaurs and wow, is that cooler than ever! This “personalized” service only goes down a path of interest and reading level, but leaves no room for expanded ideas. If your kid loves reading, encourage them to try all kinds of books. I’ve worked with kids who hated reading until we found the right subject for them, and they finally wanted to become better readers.

I realize for some people it might be tough getting to a local library, but if your child goes to school they probably have one there. You can ask their teacher about borrowing a book they love from the classroom, or organize a book swap with other parents, the school, even your community. Buying a digital book only gets kids more hooked onto the already addictive tech teat, but whatever works for your family is up to you. No judgments, but I personally love flipping the pages of a real book.

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