Have you heard about Readeo? I just discovered it today, and I’m curious . . . .
Readeo was founded in 2009 by CEO Coby Neuenschwander while living in Chicago with his son Oliver. Because of the distance between Oliver and his grandparents, they were having trouble establishing a meaningful relationship. Visits only happened a couple of times per year, phone calls were inadequate, and video chat alone didn’t hold Oliver’s attention. Reading together became the vehicle for establishing and strengthening the relationship between grandparent and grandchild.
I love the idea. I love the thought of my parents and in-laws being able to read with my children online. Love the thought of my kids being able to read with their cousins and share that experience across the miles. But I’m not convinced. I signed up for a “guest” membership which allows you to read the Book of the Month for free and to preview other titles in the library. There aren’t a ton of books in the library yet, but there is a good range in terms of age-appropriateness and diverse interests and they say they will be adding more titles every month. I haven’t asked anyone else to sign up yet to try a “face to face” interaction, and that may be the deal clincher with this.
My hesitation is two-fold. First, the fee is pretty steep, though right now they are offering a 59% discount off the yearly membership, dropping the price to $49.95. Not bad if it is used a lot . . . but a lot more expensive than the public library! Also, while I love the graphic that makes it look like actual pages turning, the pages seemed a little small on my laptop screen and the words were a bit tough to read. I want Fletcher to be able to show off his reading skills to his grandparents, but if he can’t see the words . . .
Has anyone out there given Readeo a try yet? I’d love to hear what you think!