Thursday, 4 March 2010

World Book Day 2010

Hoorah, it's here again. WBD 2010. Although, A's school has been very quiet about it this year and it very nearly escaped my notice altogether. This brought on a five minute pondering about books, so I thought I'd share.

I love books. I really do. I'm a woman who loves to shop, to buy shiny things, kitchen items, baby/boys clothes, bags and shows etc etc. However, nothing is as exciting as a new book. Whether this is a recipe book, something on some facet of the Ancient World, fiction, something for the kids or whatever. I'm a bit of a neat freak and so there is a place for everything in a cupboard somewhere in our house and perhaps the only thing I have on permanent display is books  which means that when I'm not reading them, I'm looking at them. I love it when they're shiny and new and also when they're a bit dog eared, proof of the journey taken and ultimately, finished.

Either I am a complete sad case/weirdo but I was the same, if not more passionate about books and it strikes me that this is something that most kids nowadays (yes, I am officially old enough to use that phrase) don't seem appreciate. Reading becomes fashionable in a transient way only when Warner Bros or whatever big cheese has discovered the next Harry Potter (TM) want to turn a book into a film and then through merchandising turn the film in a book, an activity book, comic or some other film related tie-in. They read whatever is in fashion and then that peters out when the next new craze pops up. I very much doubt that the majority of children when faced with shelf upon shelf on books would reach out, grab one and devour it spontaneously without their mate suggesting one or parental pressure. A has always been surrounded by books and has a vast library himself. But in this day and age when everything is interactive and automated I am reluctant to admit that although he loves stories he would prefer to have them read to him or animated than to read by himself. The more it appears that education board tries to jazz up the act of reading a book by themselves the more it takes away from the pleasure of reading.

World Book day should be about grabbing a book and discovering a new make believe world, a solitary activity that helps a child grow but instead we have videos of books being read to children without books by the people who write the books. A good site, admittedly, if you can't get your child to read a book but one that also fosters laziness in parents. The death knell of the good book also rings for the state of adult literacy when the top ten bestsellers consist of 'biographies' of Jordan and Alan Carr. Shite like that shouldn't be allowed to be published. What's next? Heat Magazine, the annual? Pah!

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