Why Real Books Are Best For Us and Our Grandchildren and How to Select Books With Our Grandchildren

well-family-bedtimestoryWe grandmas know that it is important to read to children, and it is an activity that both of us can enjoy together.  Our grandchildren are of the electronic age, and if given a preference, they want their electronics, even the babies.  Yes, they can still sit in our laps while they play, but we know that this is not best for them.  Sitting and snuggling with a book is not only joy for us, but is the best for our grandchildren.  Now, we have proof.

In “The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children,” New York Times, August 8, 2016, the author, Dr. Perri Klass, gives us the results of several studies that show detriment of electronics.  You can read the results yourself at this site.

It is apparent that Dr. Klass believes that a child touching and holding a real book is important to the child’s growth and development, and having a real person use language reading the book aloud is important.  The studies highlighted support that opinion.  Our tone and expression when we read aloud brings emotion alive to the child, and we grandparents really can ham it up with the little ones.  There is intellectual interaction with the questions and the discussion of the pictures on the pages.  I love this paragraph:

“Words and pictures can do many things for the reader’s brain, as we know from the long and glorious and even occasionally inglorious history of the printed word. They can take you into someone else’s life and someone else’s adventure, stir your blood in any number of ways, arouse your outrage, your empathy, your sense of humor, your sense of suspense. But your brain has to take those words and run with them, in all those different directions. Brain imaging has suggested that hearing stories evokes visual images in children’s brains, and more strongly if those children are accustomed to being read to.”

Yes, we want our grandchildren to have a deep sense of wonder and feeling, and we can help them with reading real books aloud to them longer than we may realize.  The American Association of Pediatrics has issued a policy that parents should read to their children from birth and continue to read aloud to children through elementary school to build a love of reading.

And, yes, there are benefits for us.  Based on a study of adults, found here  reading books is tied to longevity.  Those of us Boomers who read books can expect to live two years longer than those who do not.

And, are real books better for us too?

According to a Pew Study, even though books on electronics are lighter to carry, we Boomers still prefer real books.  In “No, the Internet Has Not Killed the Printed Book. Most People Still Prefer Them,” in the New York Times, September 2, 2016, the author, Daniel Victorsept, states that the Pew Study results show that 65% of adults read real books, the same percentage as in 2012.  Reading e books or listening to audio books is on the rise. We adults turn to the New York Times Bestseller List, Amazon best sellers, or even Oprah recommendations.  This Grandma loves real books but now enjoys not having to carry a half dozen heavy books in a suitcase on vacation.  The lighter weight has to be better for us.

For those of us Boomer Grandparents who want to buy real books for the grandchildren, where should we turn?

Take a look at these former blog posts for suggestions:

Grandma’s List of Go-To Websites to be a Smart Internet Shopper: Assistance for Choosing Grandchildren Paraphernalia, Gifts and More at this site.

Pediatrics Group Recommends Reading Aloud to Children From Birth here.

Grandma’s Best Resource for Gifts for Grandchildren: Best toys, Best Books, Best Videos, Best Audio at this site.

What Every Grandma Should Know About The Caldecott and Newberry Award Winning Children’s Books And Where to Find Them here.

“Everyone Poops” and More Fun Science Picture Books for Grandma Fun here.

Non-fiction Books Grip School Aged Grandchildren here.

One More Series of Books Beverly Cleary Should Write At Age 100 and How Our Grandchildren Can Help at this site.

Best Easter and Passover Books from Grandma here.

And, the library is a wonderful free outing, especially to introduce grandchildren to a topic of interest, or an author who may become a favorite.  Remember story hours as a grandparent.  It does not have to be us to be the live person to read a book aloud!  And story time is great for showing grandchildren how many children love to read.

Building a love of reading starts by showing how reading enriches our lives.  Bring a book as a visit present.  Pick up one of the grandchildren’s books and just begin reading it to yourself in front of the grandchild.  Very soon, the grandchild will be in your lap. If the child is a baby or a toddler, remember to be the grandma on the floor, so crawling into your lap is a breeze.











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