Monday, August 24, 2009
You see, two weeks ago, I went to the library to get some books on CD-we often will listen while we paint in the studio- and a visiting friend accompanied me, a teen from Colorado here on vacation. While we were at the library, he grew very impatient and bored... I told him to look around, and this 17 year old told me this was only his second time EVER visiting a library. Furthermore, he has never read a 'whole' book!
While watching the documentary tonight, I asked Sergio-who grew up and studied in Mexico- if he had ever read Huckleberry Finn, and he said 'of course'!
And I was sad to realize that our son Julian never has. Last year at school, the class as a whole read "The Shining".
Yes, books such as the Harry Potter series have led many to read more...and thus the argument that as long as a child reads, let her read what she likes... but I wonder: what about books that carry ideas that help transform us, challenge our ideas, help expand our minds?
But, I admit, reading "just for the fun of it" -falling in love with the trip our imagination takes when presented with word pictures is fantastically important and something I see less and less.
I see it all the time with my incoming college students... they sit with their Iphones and hand held game stations-never do I see a book in their hands. Even though I teach an art studio course, for extra credit-I assign a book
In 5 years, I have only had 3 students read the book.
I always say reading and travel are our best teachers... a book like Huckleberry Finn is such a force for justice and equality...and there are so many other great books teaching us great life lessons, history etc.
I remember sneaking a book under the covers with a flashlight... and the grandest joy when I finally lived alone: to sit in bed with a book and read to my heart's content!
..as a matter of fact... I do have to go finish my latest by Tom Robbins what are you reading right now?