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Reading literature for fun and saving our culture

AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Feb 22 2007, 7:02pm


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Reading literature for fun and saving our culture Can't Post

Yesterday I read the latest installment of Imprimis, the national speech digest of Hillsdale College in Michigan. In it, Michael Flaherty, President of Walden Media, which recently produced the Narnia movie, among others, discusses the decline of literary reading. This decline cuts across demographics, including race, age and education level. He compares most readers to C.S. Lewis's character Eustace Clarence Stubbs in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, who only reads to gain information, and not for the pleasure of simply reading. Flaherty goes on to cite a report by the National Endowment for the Arts indicating that less than half of the adult population now reads literature. The decline of literary reading also correlates to a decline in civic and cultural involvement. Literary readers are more likely than non-literary readers to participate in charity work, attend performing arts events, visit art museums and go to sporting events. The NEA reports that literary reading as a leisure activity will disappear in fifty years, and, Flaherty worries, take with it our culture. For this reason, Walden Media was created, to make great movies based on great books, great people and great historic events. Their latest releases are Bridge to Terabithia (popular book) and Amazing Grace (great people and great historic event). **

Read the full article here: http://www.hillsdale.edu/imprimis/2007/02/

I'm not sure why, but I was astonished to learn that so few people read literature for fun. I suppose my astonishment has something to do with my visiting TORn and all you well-read people. But I tend to gravitate to literature as leisure reading simply for the fact that it is more likely to be worthwhile reading. I have precious little free time as it is and don't want to waste it on a trashy beach novel. (Well, only when I'm actually at the beach!) Are these other folks just reading the technical booklets that came with their plasma TVs? Are they reading the trashy beach novels? Are they even reading?
We know what Michael Flaherty and his pals are doing to save our culture and civilization. My question to you, dear Tornsibs, is what are you doing to save us from the great dumbing-down of our times? How are we to protect our culture from the guests on Jerry Springer's show?

Okay, I will go first, since it is my post. As a stay-at-home mom with a kindergartener and an infant, I will admit that my contributions to the world at large are limited. However, I am still doing my best to expose at least two kids to literature for its own sake. I am currently reading The Hobbit to my kindergartener as part of his class reading assignment. I also try to minimize the mind numbing blather that passes for children's programming on TV. (We are a Sponge Bob-free household. Tongue) We collect arrowheads and fossils on our property, then try to identify them. We play organized kid's sports. And my kids fall asleep to classical music. (Mozart Effect or not, it really helps them fall asleep!) I believe it is the baby steps that will eventually make the difference. I hope, as my baby gets older, that I will be able to spend more time outside the home, perhaps joining the reading program at school. It tears my heart out that there are kids who have no one to read to them. Baby steps.

**Credit line: "Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, the national speech digest of Hillsdale College, http://www.hillsdale.edu."

Disclaimer: I do not work for Hillsdale College and am in no way affiliated with it, other than receiving their speech digest. If you want to get it, too, go to their website. It's free! Smile

Subject User Time
Reading literature for fun and saving our culture AlassŽa Eruvande Send a private message to AlassŽa Eruvande Feb 22 2007, 7:02pm
    setting the example linkin-artelf Send a private message to linkin-artelf Feb 22 2007, 7:21pm
    What a great topic! sherlock Send a private message to sherlock Feb 22 2007, 7:22pm
    **a.s. puts on her maternal-child nurse cap a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 22 2007, 7:30pm
        (((a.s.))) Well, AlassŽa Eruvande Send a private message to AlassŽa Eruvande Feb 22 2007, 7:39pm
        I know what you mean re: sherlock Send a private message to sherlock Feb 22 2007, 8:05pm
        *mods WAY up* Hear! Hear! Brava! Author! etc. [nt] Advising Elf Send a private message to Advising Elf Feb 22 2007, 8:53pm
    Great thread; lots of thoughts. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Feb 22 2007, 8:43pm
        Ramble on, Auntie! ;o) Advising Elf Send a private message to Advising Elf Feb 22 2007, 8:56pm
        Slightly OT: The library issue Timbo_mbadil Send a private message to Timbo_mbadil Feb 22 2007, 9:10pm
            They are - or, they try to be dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 23 2007, 1:22pm
                It's not literature, it's books. Pukel-man Send a private message to Pukel-man Feb 24 2007, 4:03am
                    But even vinyl dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Feb 24 2007, 5:39pm
            Don't know so much about the current generation of kids, Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Feb 23 2007, 2:04pm
    I'm not really sure if this is appropriate Timbo_mbadil Send a private message to Timbo_mbadil Feb 22 2007, 9:01pm
    Well Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Feb 22 2007, 9:45pm
    nothing new under the sun Luthien Rising Send a private message to Luthien Rising Feb 23 2007, 1:00am
        Reading for fun (agreeing with Lu) Penthe Send a private message to Penthe Feb 23 2007, 1:37am
            mom's verbal ability is the key a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 23 2007, 2:56am
                Interesting information Penthe Send a private message to Penthe Feb 23 2007, 3:14am
                    can't find the one I really want to reference a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Feb 23 2007, 3:25am
                        Is this it? Kimi Send a private message to Kimi Feb 23 2007, 7:23am
                            Certainly an interesting one Penthe Send a private message to Penthe Feb 23 2007, 9:11am
                I think that's the key Annael Send a private message to Annael Feb 23 2007, 4:52am
                This has evolved into an interesting discussion. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Feb 23 2007, 2:18pm
                    Speaking to kids on an adult level AlassŽa Eruvande Send a private message to AlassŽa Eruvande Feb 23 2007, 2:52pm
        good points, however Tolchemist Send a private message to Tolchemist Feb 24 2007, 1:58am
    My contribution... Morrowdim Send a private message to Morrowdim Feb 23 2007, 1:52am
    I'm really not surprised... CAhobbit Send a private message to CAhobbit Feb 23 2007, 3:34am
    Sadly... diedye Send a private message to diedye Feb 23 2007, 4:27am
        Kids and reading Gandalf's Hat Send a private message to Gandalf's Hat Feb 23 2007, 4:58am
    And then it was gone Hengist Send a private message to Hengist Feb 23 2007, 4:54pm
        I had wondered Wynnie Send a private message to Wynnie Feb 23 2007, 5:59pm
    *I* read literature. Eventides Send a private message to Eventides Feb 23 2007, 6:30pm
    You can lead children to books Elanor Send a private message to Elanor Feb 23 2007, 6:51pm
        The same thing happened to me with music Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Feb 23 2007, 8:31pm
            kids are their own people Annael Send a private message to Annael Feb 24 2007, 2:27am
    It's sad. Tolchemist Send a private message to Tolchemist Feb 24 2007, 2:50am

 
 
 

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