The other day I heard a children’s book writer (who will not be named) say on the CBC that she writes books because children need to learn to read so that they can read things on the web. Lord love a duck, this kind of thing is starting to get me down! In keeping with my new personal mission, The Defense of the Book, I’m reproducing here a letter to Canada’s national rag, The Globe and Mail, by my friend Leah Bradshaw.
“Roy MacGregor says that he is with Bill Gates when he says that ‘we have to get information into people’s hands as cheaply as possible.’ Why buy books when you can go on-line and download? Maybe because universities are places where people go to learn, not just to cipher information. Maybe sitting down to read a book from beginning to end gives students something that they cannot get from technological interface. A student complained to me recently that professors in some courses give on-line references instead of recommending books. She looks at her university education partly as an opportunity to build a library that will sustain her through the rest of her life. There are some books worth reading, worth buying, and worth keeping.”