Once upon a time, I constantly read to, and with, my two beautiful children. Two ‘square days’ a week meant time could be spent with TV/gadgets, on other days they played, we read together, we talked. Thankfully they have both grown up to be literate adults who function well in the workplace. Admittedly, their domestic skills are more questionable but that shouldn’t have a hugely negative impact on their prospects.
Now we occasionally find ourselves babysitting for friends. Last night our three young charges ranged from three to seven, we had fun. Ignoring a large pile of recently acquired birthday gifts, the children were desperate for me to read a new arrival, ‘The Detective Dog’ by Julia Donaldson; what a tremendous book.
Julia uses beautifully lilting rhyme to tell the story of how our protagonist saves the day by hunting down missing books with the children who loved them. Detective Dog cleverly walks the reader through a world where the smell of books and joy of reading are cherished. Spoiler alert: The story winds up in a library…
“Thousands of books from the floor to the ceiling. The books gave the thief the most heavenly feeling….You can join if you want to – there isn’t a fee, and then you can take lots of books out for free”
The Importance of Books
Under-used libraries are closing down in front of our eyes. Children have so many other pulls on their time and attention, parents have less time. Schools educate children using an ever increasing number of electronic resources, books are slowly being pushed aside in favour of instant gratification devices, after all, there is a lot of effort needed to turn pages.
What’s the result? This list is by no means exhaustive
- Reduced vocabulary
- Diminished attention span
- Inability to focus
- Less mental stamina
- Weaker literacy
- Poor spelling ability
- Impaired conversation skills
- Quality time impacted
As a content writer, words are king. The ability to express myself clearly is vital for me and my clients. I use words to conjure images and thoughts in the readers’ minds, it is inherent in everything I do. I am ever grateful for a childhood spent with ‘my nose stuck in a book’.
I cannot imagine children of the future will experience a reverse in the trend. So what does the future hold? As generations of book-deprived children enter the workplace, we will never be able to measure the impact of the time spent with electronic devices rather than in the magical world of books. My guess is, employers will certainly notice the ramifications.
Have a read of some of my other blog posts, this one on storytelling is particularly relevant.