Read An E-Book Week Draws International Authors, ReadershipBy Mercy Pilkington
First conceived of by author Rita Toews more than nine years ago as a response to the stagnant acceptance of electronic reading, Read An E-Book Week has slowly built a strong international following among digitally published authors and readers alike. This year’s event, which begins March 4th and carries through to March 10th, has brought authors from eleven countries together for a week of e-reading activities.
“When I went into ebooks I couldn’t get anyone into it,” explains Toews of the humble beginnings of Read An E-Book Week. “I registered it with Chase’s Calendar of Events and put it in the libraries, then did some television appearances in Winnipeg. But it didn’t really catch on at first. As the years went on, it grew and grew until today, it’s worldwide.”
“The purpose of Read an E-Book Week is to educate and inform the public about the pleasures and advantages of reading electronically. Authors, publishers, vendors, the media and readers world-wide are welcome to join in the effort. They are encouraged to promote electronic reading with any event. These could include: public readings, library displays, reading challenges, school visits, newspaper and blog articles, chat show appearances, internet radio interviews, e-book give-ways, and banners on their website. The Read an E-Book Website provides the latest information on e-books and acts as a collection point where authors can list their event or give-away.”
Involvement in this week-long event is quite simple and the details can be found on the Read An E-Book Week website. Various authors will be contributing to the movement in different ways, some on the broad-reach scale and others through one-on-one interaction. As digital reading is a screen-based entertainment, a lot of activities have been planned out online.
The rising popularity of this annual week-long celebration of e-reading has led the Canadian government to expand even further on Toews’ original design by declaring the entire month of March to be Read An E-book Month.
Mercy Pilkington is a young-adult author and a teacher in a correctional facility. She does not have a single textbook in her classroom. With the top-of-the-line technology at her disposal and the low reading ability of many of her students, there’s no need for standard paper texts. Instead she relies on e-readers, iPads, desktop PCs, Polycom video conferencing equipment for virtual field trips, live streaming for science demonstrations, and text-to-speech read-aloud software to teach English and science. Within the next ten years, public school classrooms across the country are going to look a lot more like Mercy’s classroom because the educational possibilities with these kinds of technologies are limitless. Have a question? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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