The competition for books and reading

Mike Fisher wrote the following extract in The Guardian newspaper (quoted from Jay Heale’s Bookchat, with thanks.) He’s right!

‘Bored out of their skulls by real life,’ is an interesting concept, but when your daily round consists, as it must, of pretty dull events (school springs to mind), what can we expect? If even adults see real life as ‘admin, interrupted by crises’, (quote from Lesley Beake on a bad day), we have to consider carefully what has gone on.

Our levels of what constitutes excitement or good fun have been forced consistently upwards by all kinds of media, and an over abundance of reportage (always only of sensational events). Look back on the naivety of early films – films that people flocked to see over and over again – or the simplicity of pleasures before we were so connected. My grandmother often spoke about how her whole family would walk several miles (and then home again) to hear Dame Nellie Melba singing opera on the radio. (Radio licence number 9 in Edinburgh, I believe.) Nothing short of Justin Bieber live (and free) would get most teenagers out of bed these days.

We, as book people, need to think about these things. Seriously.

“… we’re living in a world of information overload. Children have access to incredible information, such as social media and apps. It’s instant gratification and just another distraction from being present. That can have a catastrophic effect on children. They are consumed by social media and games, staying up later and becoming preoccupied. They are bored out of their skulls by real life.”

~ Mike Fisher, quoted in The Guardian.

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