CJ is the oldest of four kids and has just finished fifth grade. In her family of six, she is the only one who truly loves reading, and CJ will give any book a chance, although fantasy is her favorite genre. She even reads things she doesn't like and can't remember not finishing a book she started.
An extremely proud Nook owner, CJ told me she probably reads half her books on her Nook and half are traditional books. She prefers the Nook, however, because she likes to personalize the screen, font, backlighting, and other fancy jazz to fit her mood. In her fifth grade class of 32 students, CJ knew six other kids with e-readers.
I asked CJ what she might say to a friend who doesn't enjoy reading, and she said she would tell them that reading improves your imagination because you have to put the book into a picture. When it comes to a book's ending, CJ likes the story to end on a question, things don't have to be wrapped up all pretty and fixed just so. CJ also re-reads books (some many times, especially those on her Nook) and reads multiple books at once!
CJ told me a lot of other things--for instance, she enjoys writing as well as reading and she even had a poem published this year in A Celebration of Poets which features young poets. But the one thing that struck me the most was when CJ said, "Reading makes me who I am."
CJ's preference of her e-reader and the e-reader's popularity among her classmates bodes well for the future of e-readers and prompts this question from me (although I am certainly not the first to ask it): Will traditional books disappear completely at some point, making e-books and other digital formats the only way to read? What do you think?