Make books cool again!
Our culture celebrates technological advances. Remember those eye-popping iPod commercials that featured dancing silhouettes? The media focuses on new releases from Apple, e-readers and exciting video games so much that it’s no wonder books have fallen into the “uncool” category. And unless TV networks start running regular commercials for the next hot book series, it is up to parents and teachers to make books cool again.
Talk to your kids about how books have changed the world — starting with the Bible and working right up to “The Hunger Games.” Ask them to think about what their lives would be like if nobody could read or write. While computers certainly have changed our lives over the past fifty years, books have had even more of an influence on the shape of our world today!
Encourage your kids to think about which books and characters have affected them the most. Was there a time when they were sad and a funny scene in a book made them feel better? Or was there a day that was boring until they picked up their favorite Harry Potter book and were instantly transported to Hogwarts?
Teach them about Banned Books Week. Some books are so powerful and controversial that they have been banned from school and public libraries. This aspect of literacy may appeal to kids who rebel against authority. Give them a list of banned books and encourage them to read their way through.
Books still matter
Even in the 21st century, books are not obsolete. They remain one of the most accessible, affordable tools for education and entertainment. Our goal should be to foster a strong culture of reading amongst kids and to teach them that books are one of humankind’s most important inventions, so that no one is ever embarrassed or ashamed to be caught with a book in his or her hands.
Photo: MIKI Yoshihito/flickr
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