Does e-reader reading count as screen time?

Tech Talk Tuesday #75: Does e-reader reading count as screen time?

School may be out, but summer reading is just heating up.  I often get asked by kids in Screenagers’ audiences whether reading on an e-reader counts as screen time. While a screen is a screen, I highly encourage kids to read, whether it’s paper or electronic. 
 
Let me say first and foremost I am still a paper book lover—for me and for my family. Just this week I took Tessa to the library to stock up on summer books. She went to the biography section and picked out a bunch. 
 
Even though I am personally partial to paper books, I know that e-readers are incredibly convenient—they can store many books, and you can borrow books from the library, as well. They are so light and, often, the cost of an e-book is far less than a paper book. 
 
All e-readers come with WiFi, but only some, like the Kindle Fire, are designed to double as a tablet. An e-reader with tablet-capabilities makes switching from the book to games too easy and tempting for kids to pass up. To keep your kids’ eyes on the words instead of the games this summer, I recommend only using e-readers that do not have tablet functionality. 
 
True e-readers like Kindle, Nook, and Kobo make the reading experience the main focus. Each brand has several models ranging from the low end with lower resolution and no backlight to the top of the line with reduced blue light, touch screens, and lighter weights. 
 
Below is a list of different models, prices, and features. 
 
For this TTT, discover books you and your children could read together. Ask them if they prefer to read on a screen or a page.

  • What types of readings/stories do you most enjoy reading?
  • If one is feeling low motivation to read what might help? Incentives? Library book clubs and challenges? Going to friends to borrow favorite books from them?
  • How do we continue to cherish book illustrations? Which books for young readers have your favorite art? (I love pop-up books)

NOOK GlowLight Plus - $129.99

  • High-resolution screen
  • Glare free
  • Backlight for night reading
  • 6-week battery life
  • No apps or games
  • 6.9 ounces
  • Scratch resistant
  • Waterproof and dustproof

Kindle - $79.99

  • Lower resolution screen
  • Glare free
  • No backlight which can disrupt sleep
  • Weeks-long battery life
  • No apps or games
  • 5.7 ounces

Kindle Paperwhite - $119.99

  • High-resolution screen
  • Glare free
  • Backlight for night reading
  • Weeks-long battery life
  • No apps or games
  • 7.2 ounces
  • Free 3G so that you can download books without WiFi

Kindle Voyage - $199.99

  • High-resolution screen
  • Glare free
  • Brighter backlight for night reading
  • Adaptive light sensor
  • Weeks-long battery life
  • No apps or games
  • 6.3 ounces
  • Free 3G so that you can download books without WiFi

KindleOasis$289.99

  • High-resolution screen
  • Glare free
  • Brightest backlight for night reading
  • Months-long battery life
  • No apps or games
  • 4.6 ounces
  • Free 3G so that you can download books without WiFi

Kobo Aura H₂O - $179.99

  • Medium resolution screen
  • Adjustable backlight that can reduce blue light so as not to affect sleep
  • Weeks-long battery life
  • No apps or games
  • 7.3 ounces
  • Waterproof