You love paper books. Real books. Me too. Flipping pages, using a bookmark (or dogear-ing a page—no judgements!). The only light emanating from the book is that of your imagination.
But what you want is the convenience of the ebook. You need to be able to carry as many books as you want anywhere you go. And not break your back.
I resisted ebooks for my kids for a long, long time. And to tell the truth, they still read real, solid books at home. (Most of the time.)
However, my kids are voracious readers and when we go on a trip, I need books. Lots of them.
I want to tell you about an ebook service that my boys and I have been testing for the past few months. We downloaded the app, futzed around with it, read a few books and then went to the library. But then....
We had a summer vacation trip coming up and I did not want to check bags in the hold just because my kids needed to pack 25 books each.
What's a book loving parent to do?
(I'm about to tell you about the app and I want to make sure you know that I purchased Epic! myself, but I am also an affiliate.)
I took an Epic book selection with us. (Oh, the possibilities for puns abounds.) Epic is an ebook app which lets you read an unlimited selection of high-quality books for kids 12 and under. (I love that I don't have to worry about my kids scrolling through YA books.)
Here are a few highlights:
- Kids on Epic! can read anytime, anywhere on any device with instant access to over 15,000 high-quality books for kids 12 and under.
- Kids can download books to read offline at any time - so load up at home when you know you won't have access to wi-fi.
- Popular and award-winning books and series include Ramona, Big Nate, Flat Stanley, National Geographic, Ella Enchanted, Warriors, Where the Wild Things Are and many more.
- More than 500 Spanish and bilingual Spanish/English books have recently been added to the ever-growing library.
- A wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles in a variety of formats including picture books, early readers, chapter books, Read-to-Me and Audiobooks.
- You can try it FREE for 30 days to see if it works for your family.
- Are you an educator? Epic is 100% FREE.
Click here for --> Unlimited Access to the Best Children’s Books of All Time.
Now, it's fair to say that I have voracious readers, but what if your kids aren't so in love with reading (yet)? I was having a chat with a friend of mine and telling her about Epic! when she said,
I'm going to try that. It's so hard to get my son to read his 20 minutes a day. But we can use an app to fit it in to all those odd spots during the day and I know I'll always have it with me.
Why didn't I think of that? (Probably because I always have a book with me, ha ha ha.)
Instead of giving you a run down of all the features (remember you can try it for free and see for yourself), here are the ones that I think make Epic! stand out:
You can have up to four separate profiles per account. This is BIG. (You could even say it is "epic" - how could I stop myself?) Not only did it save us a ton of bickering on our trip but as a super-frugal person I felt like I was getting a great deal.
Epic! is not lazy about adding new content. In fact my favorite thing as soon as I login is to check out what is new. Imagine my delight when I discovered they were adding books from the New York Children's Review Collection!
Spanish readers rejoice! The collection includes a growing collection of Spanish and bilingual books. Want your child to hear Spanish? Put on a Spanish read-to-me book.
There is a wide variety: non-fiction, graphic novels, award-winning books, best-sellers, chapter books, picture books, easy readers. You get the idea.
They have Johanna Hurwitz's Riverside Kids series. Long time readers of this blog (group hug!) know I've long mourned the loss of the series in print.
It works on desktop and on mobile.
There are ebooks, read-to-me books, and a selection of educational videos.
It is free to try out for 30 days to see if it is right for you.
You will benefit from Epic! if you:
- Don't like waiting for your library ebooks to become available.
- Your library ebook selection is less than stellar.
- Your kids want to read on-the-go.
- You are looking for creative ways to make sure your kid gets at least 20 minutes of reading a day.
- You like to take a lot of books with you when you travel.
- You simply want as many ways to read as possible! The more reading portals, real or virtual the better!
A few cons:
- Reading on a screen is not as satisfying as a "real book", but let's get past that.
- I don't love the search function, but it's still pretty good.
- There are licensed character books. I am a fuddy duddy. However, to their credit, these types of books are not the majority. And admittedly, my sons read these at the library, too.
- Even with over 15,000 books you can't get everything. There is still room in your life for the library. 🙂
Epic was awarded the Parents’ Choice Gold Award and the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, and was featured in the November 2015 issue of Parents Magazine, Parenting.com, USA Today, School Library Journal, and Refinery 29.
I highly recommend you check it out.