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Kindle full but son says ''nothing to read'' - Help

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Initial post: 21 Jun 2012 08:37:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Jun 2012 09:01:22 BDT
Frenchie says:
Hello everyone. Once again, I come to seek good advice from all of you, parents out there.
My 11 year old son has his own Kindle and he loves it. But lately, he has left it on the side and gone back to paper books. Fine by me, as long as he still loves books, whatever the format, even on goat skins, I am happy. But I asked him why he does not read on Kindle and he told me that he has nothing interesting to read.
I did not say anything, but I was a little bit hurt. His Kindle has about 300+ titles, books we chose together, others that I found and downloaded thinking he might like them, some are series that I downloaded to replace his paper books etc.. I have arranged his Kindle by collection, because he is not into this kind of things, and by authors inside the collections.
I do not want to make a big deal of it, so, I find myself buying again tree books. I just bought The Time Hunters again, because it is a book I really wanted him to read and I know he will read it as a paper book.

But what did I do wrong? could it be because there are too many titles on his Kindle and he cannot see the cover? or just too many titles and it is putting him off. Or maybe he needs time off from reading (he reads a lot). And more important, how can I get him to go back to his Kindle? Should I just erase all collections and leave the books just as a list?
I do not mind paper books, but I bought Kindles to have less of them in the house.
Thanks for your help. It is greatly appreciated.

edited to correct typos.

Posted on 21 Jun 2012 09:28:56 BDT
B. Hutchison says:
In my experience, some people just don't like e-readers. The experience of reading paper books and electronic ones is different, even though the end result is the same. Maybe he's just more comfortable reading the paper ones. It's a much more tactile experience (and colourful). My 10 year old loves books and also loves gadgets, but he won't read on the Kindle.

I think the best bet would be to archive the vast majority of books on it, and leave only a select few you think would be of interest. Have them just as one list of maybe four or five books, and let him choose from those. Too much choice can be overwhelming.

Posted on 21 Jun 2012 14:58:33 BDT
A. B. Syed says:
We have a similar problem both with the Kindle and audio books. With my daughter I often find that if we read a book simultaneously (not together) then we can talk about which bits we like and what is going to happen next. Then it become a competition to see who will finish first. We are doing that with The Hunger Games at the moment, which is an excellent trilogy.

The other thing i like is the read feature which lets you have the book on while you can be doing other things. And you do get used to the funny voice!

Posted on 21 Jun 2012 18:38:34 BDT
Igea says:
Hi French Bookworm

My kids like reading books with great illustrations. Have you tried this yet?An Unlikely Friendship (Quest for Harmony)

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 09:19:21 BDT
Frenchie says:
Thank you, i will try it.
For the time being, we are back to paper books. I can always donate them later, when the other two have read them too.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 09:21:20 BDT
Frenchie says:
Unfortunately, A.B., we do not have the kindle with the voice on. But we have quite a few audio tapes, so, I think we'll use them. It can make a nice break from reading, I did not think of it. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 09:23:45 BDT
Frenchie says:
Yes, B. but my son used to love his Kindle a lot. He is the one who asked me for one. I think he just has a paper books nostalgia, so, we'll be back to paperbooks for the time being. I believe that if I insist on the Kindle, he will go off it totally. But his little sis will get one too next month, so, it might be interesting to see how they'll compete for reading on it, as the same books will be on both Kindle.

Posted on 22 Jun 2012 11:34:30 BDT
Michelle says:
Hello, I think it is a mixture of things which have put your son off the Kindle. The first is that I think we like to sometimes read on Kindle but sometimes we like to cosy up with a paper book. It is how we are. The other thing which I think has put him off is definitely too many titles to choose from. Do you still read to your son? I know lots of parents feel that once children can read for themselves, they don't need to read to them any more. My son is now 14 and an excellent and voracious reader but I have never stopped sharing books with him. I read to him and he reads to me. I have written an article "Six Great Reasons To Read To Teens" on my website It applies to younger children also. You can follow the link here. I think that if possibly you pick a book to read with him off the Kindle and discuss it as you go along in a fun way - I think he will eventually go back to it, although he will still want paper books. I hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 11:47:18 BDT
Frenchie says:
Thank you Michelle. Your post was very enlightening. You are definitely right about too many titles and I think he misses to look at the cover of the books. I have ordered books he wanted from Amazon, so, we'll receive them in the next few days, it will be a nice surprise. No, I do not read anymore to my children, and after reading your article, I decided to do so again. We used to read stories together, me and the children, and read them with the right ''voices'', and it is true, it was really fun. I shall begin again today.
I loved your article and your blog. It is in favourites now. Again, thank you.

Posted on 23 Jun 2012 14:46:27 BDT
Simon Haynes says:
When I was 11 or 12 I had a bookcase with 300-400 books on. I got to know the spines and covers just as well as the contents, and when I wanted something to read I'd browse until I found something which matched my mood.
With ebooks you get the title and the author's name, without any sort of hint as to the content.
Have you considered installing Calibre (if you haven't already), and transferring your Kindle books into that? Calibre has a feature which will retrieve book covers and other information, and perhaps your son could browse the titles in Calibre first, and then read his chosen book on the Kindle.

Posted on 23 Jun 2012 18:50:09 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 23 Jun 2012 18:52:47 BDT]

Posted on 23 Jun 2012 19:33:45 BDT
Ordinary Joe and the Mark of Four (The Majia Trilogy)

This novel, which is fast enough to satisfy the short attention span of most children but full of depth and character, has been read by a number of year fives and sixes at my school and gone down a storm. A more adventurous Harry Potter, described by one reader as " a brilliant film in a book". I think any kids 8+ will love it.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2012 01:31:47 BDT
Victoria says:
My daughter is a great reader who has a kindle and also loves paper backs as she is a note maker. Although a couple of years older she has breaks between staying up half the night reading and going to hang out with her friends - I think the secret is not to force them into it. I ask to borrow her kindle then start to read one of the many book on it - make little comments here and there, as I am reading laugh out loud at the funny bits and reel her in, before you know it she is reading the book for herself. I also teach children of various ages and with Christmas not that far away I have been looking for something different - Was pleasantly surprised by a book called Prince Santari and the heart of Christmas. Was not typical of every other book and movie I have seen in the last few years. Quite mature but filled with adventure - might be worth a try. No matter how old our kids are we are at all stages first time parents so good luck with the reading.

Posted on 25 Jun 2012 10:47:35 BDT
A. B. Syed says:
I'm sorry Kindle lovers, I will never lose my love of paper books. I have inherited quite a lot from various places and I love the feel of an old book. The yellow pages, that 'old book' smell. Sorry, you will never get that with a Kindle. I love the Kindle! I actually have the app on my 3 generation old ipad and it shows me covers and looks quite beautiful actually.
It is something I can do when I have to have the light off and have to sit in my youngest child's bedroom for many hours while he falls asleep. But the paper book thing, sorry.
Sorry to bring this off-topic. Lots of good ideas here. The 'choice' thing is a key one. Too much choice just puts you off everything.

Posted on 25 Jun 2012 17:09:46 BDT
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In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jun 2012 17:52:06 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jul 2012 22:18:05 BDT
LEP says:
I agree with the others that perhaps in your enthusiasm you've too many and given him too much choice.

My husband bought me a Kindle two Christmases ago and I haven't touched it as yet. I love paper books. It's the tactile feel of holding a book and turning it's page and also the book covers play a large part in my overall enjoyment.

Don't worry about it and don't be hurt by it. Carry on buying paper books if he wants them and if he then also uses his Kindle then fine. It shouldn't be a war between the two. However, if you go on trips or holidays perhaps he might like to take his Kindle, rather than pack paperbacks, suggest it, but don't get upset if he still wants his paper books.

Posted on 26 Jun 2012 21:49:18 BDT
LYT says:
Try books of Michael Morpurgo, Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking Trilogy), David Walliams (Gangsta Granny, The boy in a Dress, Billionaire By), Philip Pulman (His Dark Materials, Louis Sachar (Holes), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games and Gregor, the Overlander) and David Almond (Skellig)

Posted on 27 Jun 2012 19:29:28 BDT
Try THE THIRD BALLOON - an e-book for children and maybe parents as well. Eleven years old? Ideal for this title. Adventure and magic of a very unusual kind with not a spell in sight. Quirky, short tempered teacher turns into a heroine. And the school fair and the balloon race? What a disaster in more ways than one. At 77p you won't feel you have been robbed. Besides, you can always download a sample of the book for free. Best wishes.

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 10:00:52 BDT
Colin says:
Try offering him the choice between a new tree book and virtual book and see what he prefers. You've probably done this with books you and he both love but it might be worth trying with a new book. Lari Don is one of my kid's favourites. She has a new book out called Maze Running which is the fourth in a series which are all out on kindle as well. Rocking Horse War is a stand alone which is my favourite (although the kids loves the series).

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 19:27:15 BDT
When my Mum first bought me my kindle I hated it! Worst Christmas present ever- I found out that I was a good actress as she says she never knew- for days it sat in the prezzie pile passed over time and again.
Three months later my Gran buys me a Kinddle case: TeckNet® NEW Kindle Premium Folio Case / Cover With Magnetic Clasp for NEW Amazon Kindle / 6 inch / 2011 generation / Book Style - Includes Kindle Rear Protector - Purple It makes the Kindle more like a book and the fabric picks up the smells in the same way paper books can collect the scents around them.
Suddenly, my Kindle became my new best friend. This lasted for quite some time.
Eventually I was hit by the same problems some other people have listed. One of my solutions was to create a collection and call it 'my current books' for those times when one book just isn't enough. You may find it useful to remove all his collections and teach him how to make collections himself. That way he will remind himself of the books he has available and will remember the locations better, one persons brain classifies things differently to another's.
More recently I've taken to using Kindle for P.C as a means to store my books more easily and have discovered two things about this application: colour book covers when in tile mode and sepia background, to make it look like a real book, especially when combined with double column effect(even though I'm on my note book). And sync with my kindle took less than a minute the first time and only secconds since.
Another point to consider. Which Kindle is he using? When I first saw touch screen readers I knew I'd never have one, when you're distracted or just tired you tend to follow the story with a finger (or ruler...) to mark you place. Kindle Keyboard, and possibly others, have page turning controlled by separate buttons that are at the edge of the page, like a real book.

Two other points that could be less popular. Certain books hold value for other reasons than content, he may feel you are trying to take the associated memories away. e.g best friend that moved away gave him his first copy (My only Harry Potter paper back is on the shelves for that reason- the rest are hard backs). Another is that you are making a mistake many parents make- a true book worm doesn't need to be encouraged to read. They read whatever strikes their fancy and won't be deterred, even if you push he'll keep on the concept- regardless of whether you consider it 'age-appropriate' reading or not.

Posted on 1 Jul 2012 10:07:40 BDT
Frenchie says:
we have chosen new paper books. I asked what he preferred and he said that he liked paper books and also like his kindle. The latest one was
The Time Hunters I left it by his bedside table and he read it in two days. He had it on his Kindle since February. He asked me for the second one, and I said it is on your Kindle but he answered he preferred it in books. So, I have ordered the second paperback.

I do understand, as a child, I loved books, paperbooks. I will still download on his kindle because some books are not available in paperbacks. In the meantime, if it means to buy paper books, then so be it. My guess is that because at school, other boys have paperbacks. He may change on holidays, but it is his choice. As I like my children to read and they love reading, I will not prevent them from whatever method they choose.
I have noted all your suggestions for books. Thank you all. We will check them out.

[quote]Mrs Sadie R. Fahey : Two other points that could be less popular. Certain books hold value for other reasons than content, he may feel you are trying to take the associated memories away. e.g best friend that moved away gave him his first copy (My only Harry Potter paper back is on the shelves for that reason- the rest are hard backs). Another is that you are making a mistake many parents make- a true book worm doesn't need to be encouraged to read. They read whatever strikes their fancy and won't be deterred, even if you push he'll keep on the concept- regardless of whether you consider it 'age-appropriate' reading or not. [end of quote]
I entirely agree (but I do not follow age appropriate, my children have already read many books that would be considered for older Y.A. and my son at 11 has read Lord of the Ring, without even me knowing LOL, but I do care about contents). He is using the K4 by the way.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2012 17:27:32 BDT
frenchbush says:
He may well be confused by the choices on his kindle. Also if you can find a book that is really fast paced and difficult to put down it may help. Check out 'six minutes past midnight' on Amazon

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2012 20:42:42 BDT
KM says:
Some people do prefer paperbacks to e readers, but if he has been happy reading via a kindle it could just be a faze that he is going through were he has used the kindle for so long he wants to read paperbacks for a while instead. If he wants something to read, I highly suggest the H.I.V.E series, as they are brilliant.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2012 19:42:38 BDT
Frenchie says:
thanks, we have read the H.I.V.E series. Waiting impatiently for the next one. It is ok, he is happy with paper books at the moment, so, I am buying paper books. I can always give them away later on, after his sister had read them.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2013 15:27:56 BDT
Marta says:
While I don't have kids, I do sympathise with your son. I too have been an avid book reader every since I learnt to read. I have a kindle now, and there are times when it is an absolue godsend - on holiday, travelling etc, when I don't have room to pack half a dozen books. However, I would not give up my collection of favourites in paper. I confess I do prefer to try out new stuff on Kindle because if I don't like it I can delete it, without it cluttering up my book shelves, but I too prefer the old paper style!

Also , having now dowload at least three hundred books, I too am having problems with finding them (although they are all in various collections). I find browsing the Kindle a very soulless experience - running your finger over a row of books, however, enjoying the different colours and the nostaligic memories is a totally satisfying experience.

I would suggest that you leave him to decide which medium he prefers - I expect he will eventually find that he uses both.
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Initial post:  21 Jun 2012
Latest post:  17 Jun 2013

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