Friday, 22 February 2013

Kids and books in the future

I had to laugh when I saw this cartoon that The History Teacher posted on Facebook this morning. At the same time, I was aware of a twinge of feeling quite disturbed. There has been a plethora of articles in the local press just this last week about 'switching off' - including one by a travel writer who did a piece on a tech-free, silent retreat and a story in today's paper about a family who went on holiday to an island where there was no internet, no mobile reception, and, actually, no electricity at all...and they did it on purpose. There was a comment from one of the kids to the effect that, apart from a certain period in the tides each day, he didn't really miss it - that non-swimming period was when he wanted his iPod... He went on to say that he'd had a great time, read, played a lot of board games, and commented that he and the other kids - siblings and others at the resort - had deeper conversations than they usually do. A bit telling from an adolescent.
A common theme in the articles I've been reading is that we no longer understand - well, some of us dinosaurs do, but it was referring mostly to the generations after me (!) - the value of silence and unscheduled time. DB has been very excited these last few weeks to discover that Seventeen can speed-read...all very useful when cramming for an exam on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but not a way to truly appreciate a story. I read fast - my kids used to say that I eat books, but it's not for the sake of getting through the book, ever. It's just that I can. And then sometimes I find one of those precious books that make you slow down and read every word, even go back a few pages and read them again, because the writing is just so exquisite. It all takes much more time of course, but I find myself treasuring the stillness, in an increasingly stressful and busy period of my life, that is imposed upon me by the writer of that book.

I will be back soon with some actual book posts. I'm about to gut my desk - I can't see the top of it at the moment, which is testament to how busy I've been. There are two big piles of books to sort. As every seasoned book junkie knows, there is always a TBR - to be read - pile. But...I realised the other day that if you're a book junkie who blogs, there is a second TBR pile - the to be reviewed pile... It's the second pile that's growing!

1 comment:

  1. I've got nothing against children using technology, but it's all got to be in moderation. I have found from my classes that the children with the shortest attention spans are those permanently attached to technology out of school.

    And nothing beats a good board game! :)