An anonymous reader writes "A fierce argument has begun over whether children are actually 'reading' new e-books or simply 'watching' them. As publishers pump increasing levels of interactivity into e-books, the New York Times and others argue that these highly-interactive, popular titles are ruining the purpose of reading. The NYT also worries that new e-book titles could distract kids from the tougher task of actually concentrating on literature: '[W]hat will become of the readers we've been: quiet, thoughtful, patient, abstracted, in a world where interactive can be too tempting to ignore?' Others, like Gizmodo, defend these new e-books, pointing at titles like Alice for the iPad, of which they blabber, 'For the first time in my life, I'm blown away by an interactive book design.' But, the NYT counters, 'What I really love [about traditional books] is their inertness. No matter how I shake Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, mushrooms don't tumble out of the upper margin, unlike the Alice for the iPad.'"