HUFFINGTON POST
07/29/2011 01:16 pm ET Updated Sep 28, 2011

Summer Reading: A Family Dinner Table Talk

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

There's nothing better than lying on the beach or in a park and reading that book you've been meaning to start forever. Or, maybe you aren't actually opening a book but instead reading from a Kindle, an iPad or some other e-reader. It's amazing to think that in just a few years, our means and methods of reading have changed so drastically. In 2011, we can download a new book from anywhere in the world onto an e-reading device, and writers can self-publish books without going through an agent -- in fact, there are books that don't exist in hard copy and are only published for mobile devices!

What is on your summer reading list? What are some books you'd like to read by the end of the year? What are your favorite kinds of books to read? Why do you think people love reading? Why is it so important to read books? Do you prefer traditional paper books or e-readers? What about your friends at school? Do you think that in 20 years people will still be reading books? Do you think e-readers encourage more people to read? Why or why not?

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In her new cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.

To see last week's Family Dinner Download, click here.

Subscribe to receive HuffPost Family Dinner Downloads by email every Friday afternoon.

For more tips and recipes, check out The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt (thefamilydinnerbook.com).