When I was a child, in the ancient times, my Scottish primary school was probably one of the last schools to give up the idea of slates and slate pencils as a way to learn to write. We had little bottles of water to shake and rags to wipe out our mistakes. We had soft chalk if we were lucky and screeching slate pencils when we weren’t. We were very relieved to move on to nib pens, a messy exercise involving inkpots, steel nibs and permanently inky fingers.
I learned to write books, on the other hand, on a computer – one that might provoke hilarity these days, but one that worked. Since then I have watched with pleasure as ‘word processors’ got more and more fun. Steve Jobs had me in mind when he began the path to iPads.
But isn’t CBN about paper books? About turning pages? About shelves of carefully chosen books? Yes. But what a pity it would be to miss out on the opportunities of learning the fun of books and stories (and making your own and doing artworks beyond the dreams of koki pens?) in an age when we can.
Ten years ago, there was no debate. We (who were not specially technically empowered) typed things and other people read them, much later, on paper. Now, we can all – with hardly any effort or special knowledge – zip up a story book, draw our own illustrations, record a few chosen words, add some music and show our friends.
Everything that CBN does comes back to books, always. But there are ways and ways of making books exciting. There are ways and ways of creating books. In an age of apps, an age of doing things rather differently, we want to be in the forefront.
Watch this space!