As a lover of local libraries, today I’m sharing a fantastic article about a lecture author Neil Gaiman gave this fall in London. Gaiman has written short stories, novels, comic books, graphic novels, and films. His works include Stardust, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. The article, titled “Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming,” focuses on the importance of libraries and the need to continue to provide information even in our digital age.
Gaiman states, “Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.” This is something I tried to stress to my students when they asked “Why do we have to read this?” or “Why do we have to take four years of English?” or “How come we have to write papers?” Reading and writing are such important skills—skills needed for any career a student may choose to pursue. And even beyond employment, reading and writing are important for personal growth and enjoyment as well.
The article is lengthy, but it’s worth it! It’s full of wonderful points and quotes. Towards the end of the article, Gaiman lists several obligations we have as readers, writers, and citizens. He states, “I believe we have an obligation to read for pleasure, in private and in public places. If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing.” I also totally agree when he says, “We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Use reading-aloud time as bonding time, as time when no phones are being checked, when the distractions of the world are put aside.” Such wise words.
Click the link to read the full article from The Guardian: Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming