A friend of mine posted this poster on Facebook:-
Photo: Robert Brewer
The original creator, Robb Brewer, created it to in order for people to start thinking about the importance of reading. He even admits that not all the statistics are scientific.
I took this poster (and his blog post) to mean the importance of reading for pleasure, rather than reading at all.
As one who is a natural bookworm it is an oddity to even consider that people out there choose not to read books.
Not visiting a book shop?
Not buying a book?
Why don’t people choose to read books? I’m not even talking about the ‘hold in your hand’ type either. I’m talking books in any format.
From the stats I could find…experts seem to agree that the humble book is on the decline. People are just not reading for pleasure as much as they used to.
The more I think about it, the more it seems to come down to options. There are just too many options out there these days and the book is now competing against a plethora of other entertainment.
If I think about the bedroom of my childhood, my choices for entertainment were a clock radio and a bookcase. Our playroom had toys, (the type that went into a toy box) and a stereo but it didn’t even have a TV – at least not until we reached our teens.
I wasn’t disadvantaged but I also wasn’t bombarded with choices.
Today, the average child will have TVs, laptops, Ipads, playstations, phones and the internet all within easy reach and all without leaving their beds.
J.K. Rowling started something with the Harry Potter books. They were consumed voraciously by children of all ages, but this seemed to stop, or at least sharply decrease, when the movies were made. No longer is it guaranteed that a child will reach for the books for entertainment when watching the movie requires no participation or involvement to make the world come alive.
Despite my bookworm badge of honour, I must confess I am as guilty as the rest when choosing the movie over the book. I love the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, but have never read past ‘The Hobbit’.
Maybe ‘Nirvana’ had it right. We have generations of people who cry out… “Here I am, now entertain me.”
The child of today is enticed by the lights and sounds of constant input, while their imaginations – rarely used – like the book, will be left in the dark, alone, collecting dust. Reminiscent of an old man slowly walking down a dark street into the distance, we won’t even notice when he slips silently away…for good.
So do you agree with my theory? Or do you have one of your own?