How to read your newspaper when you have small children

May 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

I love the digital world. Not necessary the technical details, but the impact it has in consumer behaviors. Not for any other reason, I surely was one of the first consumers to have the iPhone and iPad in Europe.  (Here you can see my TV Interview holding the first iPad in Spain- in Spanish, 00.55 min).

I also love to read. Even though I like reading all those recent tech news from my favorite blogs and selected sources, I enjoy at most to read to in-depth, well researched articles. My favorite is the weekly german newspaper “Die Zeit”. News, once a week with great in-depth analysis. 5 EUR per week are more than worth it.

Die Zeit App

Die Zeit App

I once wrote about the Dead of Print Media and things I would never do again, hence, I unconsciously downloaded the “Die Zeit” app for iPad and subscribe to it. What a pleasure. But despite all the excitement, after some few weeks, I cancelled my digital subscription and purchase the paper edition of it. Who would have believed that I was returning to the analog world?

3 Reasons why I switched back to paper:
1. To read the newspaper. Yes! no more Email checking in between, no facebooking, no annoying notifications nor interruptions of any kind.
2. To read the newspaper. My 2 and 4 year old kids now know I am JUST READING THE NEWSPAPER! No, I AM NOT playing the new Batman Lego Game. I AM NOT watching Toy Story 3. No, you can not “WORK” with my iPad.

My son “working” with my iPad.

My son “working” with my iPad.

3. To read the newspaper. I can finally read under full sunlight outside and enjoy my balcony.

Thanks to the usual paper size of newspaper, it is a pleasure to open it and close your self out from the world. There is surely not an App for that! O boy was I a happy man. My kids got it, and were happy. My wife got it, and was happy.

After just the fourth week of receiving my paper, things changed. My kids creatively discovered that paper newspaper can be a tool for new interactive and physical games. They surely could see how happy I was with this analog tool, hence they imitated my behavior and stop playing with their iPad. Then it happened. That day of that week when I came home that afternoon anxious about reading my new newspaper, to my surprise, I discover every single page of the newspaper spread out through the entire apartment! 3/4 of the newspaper was either destroyed, wet (!?) or was simply unreadable. I managed to rescue one section of it. As soon I try to open it to activate my please-dont-disturbe-cause-I-am-reading mode, both of my kids took the paper out of my hands and start playing with it.

There goes my paper

There goes my paper

This happened again and I surely did not have the patience to handle a paper newspaper as if it was an expensive digital gadget. I was also not in control, cause the newspaper arrived when I was not at home. Suddenly it came back to me why I unconsciously hated paper, why it was so inconvenient, so outdated. I knew I did not belong to his world and I stopped fooling my self. It was just a happy four week affair. Nothing else. I decided to cancel my paper newspaper subscription. My wife hated she was not able to see me while I was peacefully reading my newspaper anyway!

Life pleasure was restored...or that i thought.

Life pleasure was restored…or that i thought.

Some months went by, and I came back to reading daily online blogs and start again getting frustrated because of the lack of peaceful-and-uninterrupted-in-depth-content-reading sessions. Same happen with my book reading habit. My magical iPad Mini was not that magical anymore – when not been in used by my kids – and it was clearly not offering the best solution for my precious new hobby: reading!

But then it happened! The enlightenment happened when I discovered the Kindle after years of ignoring it. Why was I going to buy and carry yet another device? (and ofcourse one without the fruit logo on it!). I purchased the Kindle Paper White for about 100€ and got myself ANOTHER gadget. But my life changed! For good. I am now in my third testing week and not only I have read more books and Die Zeit articles as never before, but everybody in my house is happy!

Now, when my curious kids try to reach my new reading gadget, the answer comes almost by itself “Hey, this is not an iPad! See? See! you can only see words and all is in black an white, go away!”. My kids did not heard that last phrase. They were already gone as soon as they saw all these boring words in this weird little screen. I was saved! I can even leave my Kindle on the table next to my bed and it will always be, intacted, waiting there for me until I arrive. Now my kids know I am JUST READING. My wife can now see me and know I COULD ONLY be reading. Life had a meaning again.

My new dedicated gadget is not only the best format to perform the activity “to read” but is as convenient as my iPad. I can carry thousand of books and articles. I can browse and buy new books and newspaper from it. I can even do things that I can’t with my iPad like uninterrupted reading and I can now read at sunlight in my terrace as good as reading at night while everybody is sleeping. The reading e-ink screen is just better TO READ! Guaranteed! Its almost like reading from a real book! Because of the cross platform strategy from Amazon (well done!) I get my content sync to all of my other devices, hence I don’t need to carry another gadget with me. In case I have some minutes to read while waiting for my next dentist appointment, I can always continue reading exactly were I was left on on my iPhone. I am finally a happy man.

Picture from Amazon.de

Image from Amazon.de

I used not to get the Kindle. Why not an iPad an be able to do almost everything imaginable? Now I know. Focus. Having the power of a gadget capable of doing everything result on doing nothing 100% right. When my Kindle is in my hands, I just want and can read. When I have mi iPad in my hands, well… I may be writing a blog or checking mail or chatting with someone. All good and I love I can do all that stuff in such an incredible and beautiful device. But when I just want to read, I just want to read.

So if you read until here, because you wanted to know how to read a newspaper (or a book) when having small children, now you know. Get a Kindle!

But, did I ditch analog media for good? Not at all! During all this time, I also discovered that the best medium to read a Magazine was still in paper. Neither the iPad nor the Kindle can provide me with the same experience. For this field, the only reason to change my habit will be to have a great interactive digital Magazine to play with. So far I been disappointed by all Magazines I have tested. But there is hope! I am currently testing the new and interactive iPad App from Axel Springer “EPOS”. It is still to soon to tell, but Magazines may be about to change… again.

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