Column by Ian Brown: The Lobe and Mail. Jan.19, 2013.
“Technology seems to enhance this trend. The number of 16– and 17-year-old readers who read at least one e-book last year rose 16 per cent from the year before, a huge number. Among people my own age, in their 50s, the number was 4 per cent. I’m not surprised. While my daughter hacks her way through Herrick, I have been rewatching 78 hours’ worth of The Sopranos.”
“I wanted my daughter to be deeply, traditionally literate because I am convinced that knowing your way around stories, famous and otherwise, is a valuable skill in any profession. I just didn’t want her to be more literate than I am.
For a long time, the odds were in my favour. Little of the reading I gave her – Catcher in the Rye, Tom Wolfe’s funniest reporting, the Potter books (both Beatrix and Harry), The New York Times, Tennyson, Kipling – caught her interest at the time. She read her own or her mother’s books – The Giver (in fourth grade), The Velvet Room, the stories of Deborah Ellis, countless plays (especially Shakespeare) – for her own reasons.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I did not long to have a reading relationship with my daughter as a way of hanging on to her. I know that the empty-nest watchers, the experts in postsecondary sadness, say this is precisely the mistake modern parents make: Instead of recognizing our lives are in a new chapter, we resist change. We try to stay parental, authoritative, reliable, which is why so many adult children still feel perfectly fine living in their parents’ homes.”
(Globe and Mail )
“Ten years on, according to a large survey conducted less than a month ago by the Pew Research Center, three-quarters of Americans read a book last year. That might seem paltry, but it’s a jump of 50 per cent.”
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