When asked about the new Amazon Kindle product, Steve Jobs CEO of Apple computer had this to say: "It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”
This is the saddest statistic I have ever read! My friends ask me how I have time to read so many books? I have never tried to count the number I read in a year, 100 maybe? I say, how can I not find the time to read them? I get antsy when I don't have a book on the go. I read very fast and yes, I do skim through the bits that don't interest me, but if a book is well written I read every word. I do reread some books, but mostly because I haven't got a new one to start. I love everything from literary novels to essays to non fiction to British chick lit. See some of my all time favourites on my bookshelf, I'll add more as I read them.
My biggest challenge right now is getting my boys hooked on reading. My Number 1 son who is 10 is finally reading on his own every night but he is only interested in books about hockey. Fortunately there are a couple of series, the first is the Screech Owls by Roy MacGregor and we just found a new one called the Mitchell Brothers that he seems to like. He even picked up the biography of Walter Gretsky, Wayne's father and has been slogging through that for the past six months.
Our middle son (age 8), who is a better reader but still only wants to be read to, has a flair for the dramatic and I know that once we find something to hook him with he will be like I was as a kid and read non stop. He just found the set of the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and I am hoping that since he has seen the two movies he will get right into the book. I also have the most amazing collection from my aunt of the original Frank L. Baum "Wizard of Oz" books which go far beyond Dorothy and the Scarecrow that I know Number 2 will love. The real challenge is Number 3 (age 6) who is struggling in Grade 1 with learning to read and I think that it is causing him to act out in class. I know he can do it but his teacher is using a Whole Language program and, as a former Montessori teacher, I know that the only way to give kids confidence in reading is to learn phonetically. I guess I will have to dust off my old teaching aids and get going with him.
If stranded on a deserted island I would gladly give up almost anything to have a supply of books. I almost went crazy when I was on an Outward Bound 18 day canoe trip and since we had to carry everything ourselves I couldn't bring too many books with me. But I did manage to bring a few and was able to trade with other readers in my group. I also smuggled one in my sleeping bag when we were each dropped off at separate campsites for our 48 hour "Solo." I wasn't worried about bears, although the thought did cross my mind as I sat in the middle of a blueberry patch, but I was scared of 48 hours alone with my thoughts and no one to talk to. I wrote in my journal and we were all encourage to write a letter to ourselves that they sent to us a year later. This was 20 years ago right after I graduated from university, I should dig around and see if I can find that letter. I did read on that trip and I haven't stop reading since. I don't understand people who go to a place like the doctor's office or on the subway where they have to sit and wait and don't bring anything to read (I will even read those 10 year old Reader's Digests.) For me a book is like some people and their cell phones today, I can't go anywhere with out one.
THE tale as old as time - For years my uncle, Eugene Brock (namesake for our 4th child) rounded up writers to share op-ed for our home-town newspaper (Wichita Falls Times & Record N...