That hits me where I live. Books were my delight and salvation in a small town with "nothing to do."
I've also known kids who spent huge amounts of time reading--just sitting and reading, "doing nothing!" for maybe 10 hours a day. There were always some kids like that, even when I was a kid. I could never understand why they would want to just sit and read....What a waste of time. However, I've never known a parent to limit their kids' reading time. Why is it any better to limit TV or computer time than to limit book-reading time? (Gray) (Emphasis added)
Why do we worry about a kid's spending maybe 4 or 5 hours a day at a computer screen, doing what he wants to do, but don't worry about the same kid sitting at school for 6 hours a day and then doing homework for another couple of hours--doing what others are forcing him to do? (Gray)
Plato, in The Republic, argued that plays and poetry should be banned because of their harmful effects on the young. When writing came about and became technically easier, and was enthusiastically seized upon by the young, some of their elders warned that this would rot their minds; they would no longer have to exercise their memories. (Gray)Writing was considered lazy?
When printed novels became available to the masses, many warned that these would lead the young, especially girls and young women, to moral degeneracy. When televisions began to appear in people's homes, all sorts of dire warnings were sounded about the physical, psychological, and social damage they would cause. (Gray)
Reading leads to moral collapse? Then I was a juvenile delinquent.
Nate walked past while I was in mid-mumbling revelation with this article. I stopped him and re-read it aloud. He was nodding his head like it was unhinged, delighted for an academic backer in his quest for The Screen.
Nate loves to be online, trolling through YouTube like I used to scan the stacks in the library. This boy is not my antithesis, with all his button pushing and his face lit by phospor atoms in the dimness. He is today's manifestation of yesterday's bookworm.
Does all he seek and view put him on par with the bookish geniuses of yore?
However, I read a lot of trash along with the more edifying works. There was a V.C. Andrews phase in middle school I can't recall without chagrin.
Further, I'm still making my way toward those must-reads. War and Peace? Not yet. Middlemarch? I tried it last fall and only lasted into the fifth or sixth chapter. It's being among the data or books that counts. There's value in the perusal because many of us don't know what will captivate us until we meander toward it while on the way to something else.
So whenever the kids' required school- and housework are done, I let them game and surf and upload blurry videos of Pokemon characters. This is their medium. Soon, they will be my guides.