Today is Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day nationally. How many of you knew that?
This is a fantastic idea. Kids need to read more, to know the wonder and majesty of the written word, to let their imaginations carry them to worlds created wholly on the page.
Yet with the advent of the eBook, and the slow (or maybe not-so-slow) dwindling of print books, might this laudable event be in jeopardy? The Borders bookstore chain is already gone. Barnes & Noble is cutting back on shelf space, rather drastically in some cases. Mom-and-Pop bookshops are struggling to keep their heads above water—those that haven’t already vanished.
Fewer people are buying print books at all, and those who are do so more often online, or through discounters like Wal-Mart and Target. So where are parents going to take their children in the future?
Perhaps it’s time we started a new tradition: a monthly Read with Your Child day. We could use the third Saturday of each month, for example, and dedicate two hours per month to actually sit down and read with our kids, to talk about books, about their favorite stories and characters—and why they made their choices.
I remain more convinced than ever that kids must read more, particularly in a world dominated by television and computer games. Use eReaders. Go ahead! I mean, let’s face it: eReaders are right up your kid’s alley. Just read with them. Please! It does for their brain development what TV and computer games cannot.
And then maybe—just maybe—we’ll stop hearing twenty-somethings toss out sentences like this real-life gem: “It’s like… so… I don’t know, kinda like… well, you know what I mean?”
My response: “Well, no, I don’t know what you mean. Perhaps if you spoke English.”
Her response: “OMG! Like… whatever!”