Monday, July 16, 2012

What does Summer Reading look like? 3 new ways to experience literature.

Judging by the entries to our annual photo contest, we tend to view summer reading as always involving a book with pages, being read while we lay out in the sun, or in a hammock, or in a tree house (or on a camel or other weird place!).

I was chatting with our Grade 5 students towards the end of the year about 3 ways you can do some summer reading. Personally, I love to cuddle up with a real book. I like the feeling of turning a page, using a bookmark and seeing how big of a chunk of pages I am able to read in a sitting. This, however, is not the only way to read a book. One of my reading goals for the summer is to listen to an audiobook, read some books online with Hunter, and borrow some new library books on my Kindle.

1. E-Reader - if you have a Kindle, Kobo or iPad, you can pack thousands of books into one small device. What I love about my Kindle is that I can sample the first few chapters of a book for free before I decide to buy it. It's great for taking on vacation, and when reading a series, it's nice to jump right into the next book immediately without needing a trip to the bookstore! You can borrow books from the Public Library on your E-Reader too. All you need is to visit the Overdrive or Freading pages and download the software required.

2. Audiobooks - Perhaps one of the kids in this picture could have their earphones in, listening to a great narrator read an audiobook. They could be following along in a print copy too. Audiobooks are great for long car rides, or even as a regular feature on a long commute. There are many ways to get audiobooks. You can borrow them from the public library (CD + print copy) for many picture books and beginning novels, or you can use the Overdrive software to borrow them online.

3. Online Reading - There are some great websites out there which make picking up a book as easy as a quick click. Here are a few of my top picks

Tumblebooks (access via Calgary Public Library) - is a huge collection of online books that you can view on your laptop or iPad (search iPad for compatible titles). I especially love watching and listening to the Robert Munsch books because he does the narrating. There are many wonderful story books and non-fiction books to choose from. It would take you all summer to discover them all! A great choice for emerging readers.

BookFlix (access via Alberta Education Online Reference Centre) - 

StorylineOnline - you can listen to celebrities read a small selection of classic and modern picture books here. We love Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog!

What is your favourite way to read in the summer?

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