R is for reading
R is also for a quick mention of rabbits. Mine begins with R too – Rupert. He chewed through the charger wire for my laptop a few days ago, hence the lack of blogging. I’m going to aim for two blogs a day for a few days to get me back on track with the A-Z though.
I can’t believe how long it took me to think of what to write about for R. I love reading! My job is to encourage it in others and my spare time is spent mostly doing this. It got me thinking about how I think of new and creative ways to encourage teenagers to read, and how fresh thinking is needed all of the time.
It was World Book Night this week and my local library was the only place registered in my city to hold an official book giving event, meaning all of the focus was on them to promote this amazing international programme and they could have gained so much from doing it well. Unfortunately when I went along I found the average age amongst the audience was above retirement and the author who had been invited to read as the event’s guest was a local author who writes almost exclusively for older people.
Also, despite there being at least three times the amount of people as there were books to give away, it was still insisted that the ‘one book per person’ rule applied. I was a bit disappointed in how little the sentiment of reading was evident on the night. World Book Night is about passing on the love of literature, and I think this is overlooked if we only include people who are already established readers.
Libraries receive a bit of stick these days for being old fashioned, and I’m afraid World Book Night didn’t do much to dispel that myth here, despite being a librarian and loving libraries myself.
Libraries need to attract younger people, and not just children. The first World Book Night event I went to was in 2011 and it attracted university students, scholars, parents, children and everyone in between. I’m not sure what happened between then and now but I hope next year will be different.
Back to reading in general though, if you already are an avid reader you won’t need me to come up with a beautifully crafted sentence to bring about the magic that a book can bring to you, but that is what they do. Books take you to different worlds when you need to escape your own. They awaken a love of characters you will never meet in the flesh and open your imagination to things you would never have conjured up without them.
I think I should probably finish with a recommendation, and for the type of reading I have in mind – the magical, emotional, totally fall-in-love-with type, I suggest authors such as Stephen Chbosky, John Green and Rachel Coin and David Levithan.
On a final note, I haven’t watched TV for around six months due to a broken aerial, and haven’t missed it at all. I know many people who lose track of the hours are also sometimes guilty of watching TV on a nightly basis. Try this, just for a night: just don’t watch it. Switch the remote for a book, notice how much quieter the house is and enjoy the tranquility and transportation to a different world for a few hours.