Booksmarts

Reading has been on my mind recently, both because our eldest child is starting to learn to read and because recent TV documentaries and newspaper articles have revealed how poorly (if at all) British children read. Now I’ve always loved reading, and found it difficult to comprehend why others didn’t. I was puzzled during a visit to some friends a few years back when I realised that there were no books whatsoever in their house. But does a lack of interest in books really signify a lack of intelligence, intellectual curiosity or imagination? Is reading for some people just a useful skill like driving, or is it indispensible for a full and rich “life of the mind”?

Some people prefer to experience life more directly, or inform themselves in other ways (by talking to people, for example). I’d love my kids to love reading as much as I do, but would it be a disaster if they didn’t? Would it stunt their growth? Sometimes I think I spend too much time reading and should spend more time doing.

What about you? Could you love someone who doesn’t read?