Monday, February 26, 2018

Missing Out

Saw a news item the other day about the low percentages of small children in the UK whose parents read to them at bedtime (and other moments in the day, I suppose.) Found myself completely unbothered by the figures, I suppose for the simple reason that no one ever read anything to me as a kid and I can't honestly say I regard this as a terrible deprivation. Come to think of it, we never had books in the house.

I suppose what might be regarded as somewhat unfortunate circumstances were more than adequately balanced by a wonderful public library system and the spirited encouragement of reading I encountered at school and on the telly (through children's programmes, particularly on the BBC, that promoted books with gusto.) I'm pretty sure that lots of energy still goes into the promotion of reading, in the UK, and decent resources remain available to the vast majority of children. So if kids choose to miss out I'm sorry to say it seems to me a choice, rather than something that can be blamed on negligent parents or social inequality.

Do I sound uncaring? Probably, since I find it very difficult to care about this. Now tell me that access to books is deliberately restricted for certain children and I'll have something to genuinely care about and deeply so.

No comments: