Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Developing passionate readers

PZ Myers isn't everybody's cup of communion wine. The wicked old bloke is a rampant godless atheist after all. But whatever you may think about his refusal to bow the knee to religious sensibilities, his recent post on kids and reading is simply brilliant. It's called Don't read because you should, and is the kind of advice parents of young readers should be hearing from their kids' teachers and schools, rather  than the pedantically meaningless claptrap that all too often appears on youngsters' reports - and I confess to having written my share. Follow this simple advice and the literacy skills of the nation (whichever nation you identify with) would get an immediate boost.
[B]eware the attitude that you should tell people what they should read: what you’re doing isn't ennobling their mind, it’s teaching them that reading is a chore and an obligation, and that it isn't fun at all... My philosophy is always to encourage a passion — if you are devoted enough to start devouring books on any topic, eventually you’ll find enjoyable and educational stuff on your own. But the key step is to foster pleasure in reading anything.

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