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Disney To Put An End To Those Pesky Paper Books By Putting Them Online

John Biggs
TechCrunch.com
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 5:39 AM

As a parent I love a little one-on-one time with the son and daughter in front of a good book. What I don't like are those crap-gasmic Disney books that float through every child's book collection, titles like "The Jungle Book" that are basically advertisements for the movies. And what I really don't like is this new initiative by Disney and their partner to suck the life out of even those abhorrent configurations of words.

That said, you can probably tell what I think of these online versions of over 500 Disney books available now at DisneyDigitalBooks. Kids can read over 500 Disney books, make their own books, and even "befriend Disney characters," as creepy as that sounds.

The books appear on-screen on your laptop and you can click on words for pronunciation. That's right. It's a book on a laptop. It features Disney characters. But what, there's more.

You can add up to three kids for $8.95 per month or $79 for the year. $8.95 so your kid can prop a laptop on your kids bed and let him or her read Toy Story while you fix yourself a Tom Collins. Seriously. Is this what Disney wants? We have enough trouble convincing the kids not to ask to play Mario Kart Wii all day let alone equate reading with dragging a pointer across a laptop screen.

Add in wonky stuff like this request for a D-Name and the fact that this automatically enrolls you into Disney.com, entitling you to free spam, is an extra bit of insult to injury.

Maybe I'm old fashioned but is my outrage justified here? I agree that I'm a bit hypocritical in my adoration of the Kindle but after a certain point reading becomes a solitary pleasure. However, during the short window between birth and the age of gaining the ability to amuse oneself, there is a period when human interaction in front of a dog-eared, garage sale copy of "The Poky Little Puppy" is a small, good thing.

Oh, ok, that makes sense. Thanks.

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