Inspiring kids to read is one of the joys of working in a School Library. Convincing them to take a book in hand that will hook them into hours of joy and discovery is so inspiring, so invigorating.
‘Read a book ….. learn about the world!’
This has to be one of my all time favourite signs to pin up in my Library displays. Chatting with kids, getting them on board with the joy of discovery ….. Wow ….. it’s so inspiring, so fulfilling. Having one of those bubbly
‘Have you read this?’ ‘What do you think of that?’ kinds of bookish conversations with kids is so much fun.
Reading, the joy of reading, sharing the passion I have for reading …. this has always been the icing on the cake for my work with kids in schools.
Discoveries of recent months though, in which my life has become so overwhelmed with all things web based has made me wonder ….. just for a fleeting second ….. whether all this ‘new stuff’: social networking, social media, Web 2.0 tools, embedding technology into the curriculum ….. whether all this ‘new stuff’ will challenge the previous status held by books in our schools. That heaven forbid, kids today will have no time to read books or explore the wonders they hold.
Just a few days ago, I was asked how I’d feel if all the books we currently have in our Library were removed.
A second of panic hit me ….. a gasp ….. the thought: ‘no ….. it’s just not possible’ reverberated through my head. Before I knew it, I blurted out my reply: No, it won’t happen, it couldn’t happen! I love to curl up with a book in my hand.
Then someone sent me this clip of Phillip Roth talking about the future of the novel:
Roth’s forlorn tone when he states that the book
can’t compete with the movie screen
can’t compete with the television screen and
can’t compete with the computer screen
nearly had me believing him. Throw into the mix, articles reporting the negative stats on book sales vs eBook sales and wow…. the traditional novel, the one you relax with on the couch, curl up with in bed, crave to read in between the daily routines, certainly does seem like it’s under a death sentence.
Take a look at our children though ….. the ones that sit wide eyed on our laps or in clusters at our feet in our classrooms or Libraries listening intently as we share the joy of a story. Are they not being inculcated from an early age into the joy of reading, the wonders of books?
Is the book about to disappear? Is it to become a relic of past life? Have a listen to this podcast Is the book Dead? a recorded discussion held at the State Library of Victoria on September 6th 2007, then let me know what you think about the future of the book!
(Previously posted on NovaNews – October 10th 2010)
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