Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Books Are Not Dead (Yet!)

Reading books may not be dead but, in a modern middle school, sometimes the readers look that way.

Thom Powell was covering for an absent librarian the other day when something alarming caught his eye. The girl was sprawled out on the library carpet, not moving.  He rushed over.  (Bloggers refer to themselves in the third person.  It's a search engine thing,) 
 To his relief, the student was showing signs of life: she was holding a book. 
   "Are you OK? he asked. 
   "Yeah, my back just hurts from sitting all day.  It feels good to lie here like this."
    "Well, then...." was all he could think to say.. After all, she was reading and causing no apparent problems except for the possibility of getting carpet cooties in her hair. He decided to leaver her be.
     One sees some strange things in a modern library, and one of them is the observation that most people in there appear to be getting their information from computer screens rather than books, per se.
     Is that a bad thing? It is difficult to be say.  Whether it is a screen or a book, they're still reading.  It does seem that there are exceptions to this trend toward computers as the primary information delivery systems. There are still a lot of people, even kids, who still enjoy books. In at least one Portland, Oregon middle school, lots of kids are reading books.
    Amazingly enough, sometimes they even read aloud to each other! We have pictures to prove it. 
    Let the record show that our future leaders are still least some of them.

Have you ever seen a scene that warms the heart more than a middle schooler reading aloud to her attentive fellow students? Note the title of the book: a kid friendly volume that can be found elsewhere on this blog.   Is it cheating to trick kids into doing more reading by regaling them with fictional  tales of the sasquatch?  You make the call, but it's hard to argue with results.

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