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Old 09-27-2011, 05:38 PM   #16
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I couldn't resist commenting on this:

When I was 8, I was a hellion. I took things apart just to see how what they looked like inside, I broke my toys, my siblings' toys, and my parents refused to buy me expensive toys or gadgets of any kind.

My parents also read a lot. I learned reading sitting literally on dad's lap while he read to me, and I watched how very careful he was with all his books. So while I was breaking every thing else around me, I barely ever tore at the pages in any book I was given. If my parents had given me a Kindle and told me it was a book, I would have done my best to treat it the same way.

Kids can be taught to be careful with breakable things. That doesn't mean I'd buy an 8-year old an iPad.... but I would definitely consider a cheap refurbished eReader.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:03 PM   #17
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Some 8-year-olds can handle something like that, and some can't. My 9-year-old is very careful with her things and always has been. She's had other expensive electronics and would be able to handle an ereader, and would have been able to a year or two ago as well.
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:46 AM   #18
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There is now a $79 Kindle available. It should be selling later today.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:54 PM   #19
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There is now a $79 Kindle available. It should be selling later today.
Yep, I see that - I think that's my best option, as soon as I figure out the best case option:

http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Wi-Fi-I...pf_rd_i=507846
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:15 PM   #20
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Yep, I see that - I think that's my best option, as soon as I figure out the best case option:
I just started a discussion about compatible cases for the new Kindle over at Amazon. Hopefully there will be some good responses.
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:28 PM   #21
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I say go for it. I think the options people have suggested are a good one or maybe if you're thinking of upgrading you could do yours. I'd suggest definitely only allowing yourself to purchase the titles for it. You can discuss titles and what he wants to read and maybe even suggest things you'd think he'd like some times.

You can teach them all you want about taking care of things, but some times you just have to let them learn. Set the rules, say it's their responsibility and give guidance on how to take care of it, but I really don't think some people learn responsibility until the responsibility is on them. Until they are invested in it.

I took plenty of things apart as a kid. It's what kids, especially boys, do. I'm trying to figure out when my son gets a digital camera (previously used by me) to goof around with. I'm thinking 4 years old. I'm thinking it lasts until nap time if I'm lucky.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:38 PM   #22
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You might want to look at the newest Kindle, it is only $79.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:04 PM   #23
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To be honest, I'm not sure going with an ad-supported version is the best idea. If those ads frequently pull in adults, they'll be even more effective on a child. Kids are subjected to way too much advertising these days as it is.

I'd go for a refurb unit. You'd probably pay the same amount for it as you would for the ad version of the K4. And refurb units are as good as new, and sometimes better. It's better bang for your buck, and it's more respectful of a child's mind.

Like the others said, get a good sturdy case, make sure you reiterate that ereaders are delicate and you have to be gentle with them, etc.

Although a part of me thinks this won't be as huge a problem for an 8-year-old in 2011 as it would be for an 8-year-old of any generation previous. I am the oldest of the digital natives. I'm 22 - most of my gen weren't *completely* digital natives, but I grew up with a network admin father and I was using a computer in my toddler years.

And I know that when I was 8, I had more appreciation of the fragility of electronics than, say, my mother (who was not at all tech savvy), or my grandmother. My mother would brick her desktop every couple months, whereas I had a desktop that lasted me from 8 or 9 until I was 15.

I've met some 8-11-year-olds who are even more aware than I was. I may have been a digital native, but the tech I was born into wasn't really portable. Laptops existed, but they were huge - no kid was ever going to carry those around. Cell phones weren't really around then. CD players didn't even come to be until I was 6 or so.

These days, you have kids with smartphones (and rooting them, too), netbooks, MP3 players, etc. And they're more tech-savvy than I am. I don't know if your son personally has handled this sort of stuff, but even if he hasn't, chances are he's been around it and has a better appreciation of how delicate electronics can potential be than you did as a child, or even than I did.

I think kids these days are better with electronics than we might give them credit for. You know your kid better than anyone here - but he doesn't sound excessively careless by your own account. And being of such a tech-immersed generation, and if he loves reading, I think there's a real good chance he'll handle it well.

Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 10-01-2011 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:51 PM   #24
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I'd say the $79 kindle

Many 8 year olds are Very responsible and will take good care of it
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:21 AM   #25
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The ads are crafted such that you have to say that you are interested in an offer. Then Amazon emails your a code that you can use to get the offer. The code is sent to your account email so unless the 8 year old has access to that account and your amazon account it will be hard for him/her to take advantage of offers.
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Old 10-02-2011, 03:07 AM   #26
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To be honest, I'm not sure going with an ad-supported version is the best idea. If those ads frequently pull in adults, they'll be even more effective on a child. Kids are subjected to way too much advertising these days as it is.
Easy fix for that: don't connect the Kindle to an Amazon account. My daughter has a Kindle, but no open account. We buy books at multiformat stores & download them through the computer. And she reads a lot of fanfic.

Otherwise, hook up the account so the kid can get freebies from Amazon and send things through the free email conversion, but don't connect a credit card to it. No account money = no buying based on the ads.

However, I suspect the ads are very much NOT targeted at pre-teens; this isn't like afternoon TV shows that expect a 9-year-old audience. In order to have an Amazon account, someone has to be old enough to have a credit card & sign a contract; advertisers won't be aiming at people who *might* be loaned a Kindle but don't have any buying power through it.

Quote:
I think kids these days are better with electronics than we might give them credit for. You know your kid better than anyone here - but he doesn't sound excessively careless by your own account. And being of such a tech-immersed generation, and if he loves reading, I think there's a real good chance he'll handle it well.
This sounds good, with the caveat that any child can be careless for a moment, and that can wind up with a dead Kindle. OP should be braced for the possibility of wanting to replace a broken device because the child may just not realize in what ways it's fragile.

Adults can deal with "it's fragile; if you break it, I'm not replacing it." Kids who accidentally mishandle a device in the first two weeks they have it, and lose it because of that, are prone to drawing the conclusion that such devices are more trouble than they're worth, rather than that they should be more careful--because they *were* being as careful as they knew how to be. They just don't have enough general experience yet to know which actions need extra attention when they're told to "be careful with this."
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:55 AM   #27
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^Yeah, not hooking up an account could be a solution. Not having a Kindle, I didn't know whether that was an option.

The point of carelessness is true, and is, of course, why a cheaper reader is a better idea than a decked-out, $200+ reader. At least if they break it, you're not out a ton of money and they've learned a valuable lesson about being careful.
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