Hello blog readers,
This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Some time ago a certain YA book came out by a certain famous person, and there was a bit of a whoo haa about it because, well, it may or may not have been ghost written, which is a ghastly concept for a lot of people; a breach of trust, a cheep trick, a way to cash in on the celebrity brand. And apart form all that the book may, or may not have also been, a huge pile of poo.
I never read the book. I read the blurb, and I flicked through it in a shop, but I judged it not my bag so I didn’t bother. No big deal, but I can’t comment now on it’s utter poo credentials, or indeed, it’s brilliance. But the point it this. Throughout the debate, and through others of a similar nature there is a phrase that continually popped up; “well, as long as they’re reading that’s what matters”.
And I wonder does it? Does it not matter WHAT we read, as long as we read? If a book is a grammatically incorrect, badly written story which puts forward unhelpful, even immoral ideas and values (and I’m not referring to a specific book here) does that matter?
Even allowing for taste, do we have to throw out all debate on the worth of what young people-of what we all read-simply because it’s better than doing drugs? and better than vegetating on your beanbag, playing xbox and turning into a huge pixel.
Or, is turning around and saying “that is utter book tripe and I rather wish you weren’t reading it”, is that pure and simple book snobbery that should be abolished?
I’m not too sure. But I think of it this way, if my 10 year old sister was reading heat magazine I wouldn’t leave her with it just because she was reading. I should probably do the same for a book I judged to be equally damaging.
What do you think?