I used to teach and tutor kids who had all kinds of trouble learning to read, and getting them hooked was sometimes damned hard work. I think about those kids from time to time. They’re all grown up now; finished high school, part of the working world. I wonder what they will do, where they will go. Not in an egotistical kind of way, but in a very real way.
When we do not raise our kids as readers, we do not raise them as people who also read as adults. When they don’t read they don’t write. If they don’t write on a piece of paper, they sure aren’t writing much else (with the exception of text messaging perhaps; that cryptic note passing that people can engage in for hours at a time).
The part that scares me is that as people become less likely to read and write, they only become aware of things that are presented aurally or visually – television, text messages, radio. News that is condensed into 15 second sound bites that don’t tell half the story if it trying to bring up a story at all. Real tight sound bites that tell nothing except the sensationally sales worthy are unable to tell the real story, and sadly do not tell the heart touchingly noteworthy.