We just returned from a cruise. Yes, it was warm. Yes, it was relaxing. Yes, it was wonderful. Except. We ordinarily get two newspapers (one local, one national) every morning and pretty much read entirely through both of them. TV and radio news supplement, but are not our main source of information. Now imagine - two weeks cut off almost entirely from civilization as we know it. Yes, all newspapers are biased one way or another - nothing is completely objective. But they at least tell us what's going on in our home states and communities. We were certainly kept up-to-date on Britney's latest capers and who was going where in the NFL, but news??? Not much.
I've heard it said that newspapers will eventually be obsolete, that we'll get all our information from more easily digested media. I hate to think that that may be the truth. However, after a visit to the library this afternoon where a father with his two school-age sons (who should be reading!) checked out about 15 videos and books on tape (but no books!), I believe that the prophecy may come to be.
What can we do? As adults we should read. As parents we should encourage our children to read (and not just comic books although they do have their place). We should support our libraries and bookstores. If you can't afford new books, check out the used booksales held by many libraries and AAUW branches.
See you in print soon!