Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Need to Read




In this information age, where so much is thrown at us daily by the differing media and everything is presented in as high-tech and jazzy a way as possible, often in a multitude of tiny bytes it is easy to be overwhelmed. It is easier to be young of course, since what you grow up with is more easily assimilated and in any case, the normal way. I personally know that I must avoid catching a Coca-Cola ad on the TV lest I become rapidly dizzy; similarly I can’t make head or tail of music videos, because I try to make sense out of them instead of just letting them wash over me. The last one I really loved was that one with Cliff Richard and Sarah Brightman, both dressed in white serenading each other on a beach somewhere. What was the song again? Harley Kahns (not sure how to spell this) in conversation with one of our talk show hosts on Cape Talk, made some telling points about the way we read. We have become consumers of words, he says, - a few at a time - instead of reading to engage our imaginations. Perhaps the wheel will turn, I for one, have faith in the deeper needs of the mind - both of my elder children only began to read when they left school, my eldest reads massive science fiction tomes - so there is hope for my youngest. . At the moment, he thinks that activity is just for ‘old’ people. And I’ve found a great read for my reluctant reader, two-year old grandson – a pop-up book in which a baby rabbit asks all his animal friends what is in their nappy? Behind the nappy (diaper) pop-ups are pictures of all kinds of shapes and sizes of animal pooh. Finally, they demand to see inside his nappy – clean! He boasts that he uses a ‘piepie-poopsie’ pot and there follows an illustration of all the animals perching hopefully on their assorted pots. Of course, you could only show this story to a potty-training toddler – or you might find yourself in jail!

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