Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Ancient Art of Reading Books

I read this article yesterday that made me so sad. It said that one in four Americans did not read ANY books last year. Not sure if I was more shocked that it was 25% of the country or that the number wasn't higher.

In my own home, my darling hubby can be counted in the 25%. Actually, the last book I remember Jon reading was Seabiscuit and that was in 2002. Now, Jon loves the newspaper and we are avid readers of that but books, for some reason cannot hold his interest.

Even I have found my reading slowing down. BK (before kids) I always had a book going. Now, that precious sleep is more enticing. I think that I have only read five books this year.

With so much information being fed to us via computers and television, it is not surprising that reading something that does not have pictures attached to it causes too much stress on your brain. I mean, where would we be if we did not get to see "art" with our stories. What? Have to imagine what a collapsed bridge looks like? What? Have to imagine what Lindsey Lohan was wearing when she wrecked her car?

Even so many books are being turned into movies. I'm all supportive of that, truth be told. I kind of like to think of it as a different perspective on the story. Heaven only knows that they never follow what happens in the book, anyway. The book is always more of a guide to the characters than the actual storyline of a movie. AND yes, I always read the book before going to the movie.

But have they gone too far? I read recently, that they are making a movie from The Daring Book for Boys. They are somehow making a movie from a book that shows you how to make go-carts. Huh?

Back to our house. Jon and I do read to Jack every night. Every single night without fail. We even read to Eva, but she just likes eating the pages now. Soon, though, we'll begin our family reading time.

I have always felt that one of the greatest lessons you can teach your child is to have them see you reading a book to instill the importance of using your imagination. I sure hope that is true for our kids.


Debra said...

I'm just as shocked as you! I always have a book going, even if it takes two weeks to finish it, PK (post kids!) Right now, I'm reading The Fortune Tells Told Me, and I recommend it.
As for reading to kids, it is sooo important. Miriam just started taking an interest in books about a month ago (at 18 months) and now brings us books to read at night. Eva's interest will come!

Debra said...

Oops -- it is The Fortune Teller Told Me.

Laura said...

Having studentes read newspapers and magazines is actually one way that I try to motivate reluctant readers in my classroom. They like the short articles vs. the long chapters of a book. I think family reading time is gonna be great- good idea.