Appreciation: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

Just few passages from the original article. It is too lengthy to post it here so I will be linking it below, if ever you need further reading.

Here it goes:

So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I’m going to tell you that libraries are important. I’m going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I’m going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

And it’s that change, and that act of reading that I’m here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What it’s good for.

Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive.

The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.

There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories.

And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy. When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You’re being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you’re going to be slightly changed.

I worry that here in the 21st century people misunderstand what libraries are and the purpose of them. If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally. But that is to miss the point fundamentally.

Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them. They belong in libraries, just as libraries have already become places you can go to get access to ebooks, and audiobooks and DVDs and web content.

I think we have responsibilities to the future. Responsibilities and obligations to children, to the adults those children will become, to the world they will find themselves inhabiting. All of us – as readers, as writers, as citizens – have obligations. I thought I’d try and spell out some of these obligations here.

We have an obligation to make things beautiful. Not to leave the world uglier than we found it, not to empty the oceans, not to leave our problems for the next generation. We have an obligation to clean up after ourselves, and not leave our children with a world we’ve shortsightedly messed up, shortchanged, and crippled.

Albert Einstein was asked once how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. “If you want your children to be intelligent,” he said, “read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” He understood the value of reading, and of imagining. I hope we can give our children a world in which they will read, and be read to, and imagine, and understand.

(Pictures are not mine)

(Source: The Guardian)

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Top New Series I Want To Start

First thing’s first, (I’m the realist) I’m going to go ahead and say that most of the books here are YA (young-adult) fantasy. So yes, I do read YA. I just don’t read it a lot, lol. Enjoy!

*For more information about the book, click the (image of the) book or the title.

Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles #1) by Melina Marchetta

I’m not gonna lie. It’s not the greatest book cover but the start-up line is pretty cool–“At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom.” 

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (Eon #1) by Alison Goodman

I have a confession. I haven’t read any book that contains dragon or has something to do with dragons. So this one particularly caught my eye since (they say) the protagonist, which is a girl, is so bad ass! So why not?

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

I’ve been seeing this a lot in my goodreads timeline. And when I read the plot, sparks flew. And also because my sister has been recommending me to read Legend by Marie Lu but I wasn’t into the plot, so i opted for this one.

The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab

“Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.” Sounds good to me.

Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity #1) by Elizabeth Wein

I’ve been eying this out for a while now and I think I regret not buying this. This centers in WWII with strong female protagonist. Again, with strong female protagonist.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas

I wanna know what the hype is all about.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor

Dude her natural hair color is blue. I gotta have that stuff. This is actually included in my Timely TBR, so review will be up soon!

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve been lusting over this one. This has been receiving a lot of hype recently. And I knew this book even before it was hyped up, but a lot of people have been liking the series (not the first book) so much that it makes me kind of curious enough to read it. AND TALK ABOUT THAT COVER, PLEASE.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Re-tellings of different fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Ridding Hood and Rapunzel. Jeez, that sounds freaking amazing. Cinder is Cindarella’s re-telling apparently she becomes a cyborg of some sort. Also A+ for the cover!

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness

“Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise.” YES, PATRICK NESS. YES!

(Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish)

(Pictures are not mine)