This week, we have a colorful poster on display in the library. It shows William Shakespeare, several times over; in most of the "poses" he has a book in his hand. The caption reads
To read or not to read...
is NOT the question.It's bright, it's fun, it's not quite Hamlet. And it set me thinking. If reading is NOT the question, what is?
You see, reading is not going to die out. The computer, CD-ROM and laserdisk technology are not going to kill the reading art.
You will still need to read the screen, need to read the printout, need to read the manuals and those 500-page books which explain the bits the manuals make obscure. Computer technology is set to revolutionize the publishing industry; it will make publishing more cost-efficient and books and other printed matter more accessible.
Nor has cinema killed reading, nor television, nor video.
We all read. We all read in our daily lives. We read reports and we read balance sheets, we read prices in the shops and we read the TV programme schedules, we read minutes of meetings and we read letters from home. And we read newspapers and magazines and books and even newsletters like this.
Reading is not a skill to be taken lightly. Those who cannot read and who will not read are greatly handicapped. Reading is important to our children. Our children, your children, the students of ISH - our future. Our future congressmen and captains of industry, generals and filmstars, teachers and popsingers and archaeologists and writers. However high they go, however low we remain, reading matters, you'd better believe it. They, you, we are not going to get far without it.
So, that Shakespeare misquote: If reading is NOT the question, then what is? Choose one or more of the following:
HOW to read? WHEN to read? WHERE to read?
WHAT to read? WHO to read? To read to WHOM?
THESE are the questions.
Written and copyright John Royce 1995.
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John Royce, BA, MLib, ALA
Library Director, Robert College
Arnavutköy, TR-80820 Istanbul, Turkey.
The URL of this page is http://www.read2live.com/read1.htm
It was last revised on 5 January 2001.