Friday, 6 September 2013

It's a book!

In his simple, yet incredibly smart book It's a book, Lane Smith (of Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales fame) has created a wonderful little weapon in the battle between book and technology. The story is simple: Monkey is reading a book and Jackass walks in and asks:

Jackass is very interested and begins poking questions at Monkey, who is very much engrossed in his book and keeps having to respond "it's a book" to some rather silly questions.

Jackass tries to understand by comparing it to his laptop, which seems to be the sum total of his frame of reference for reading.

Anyway, Monkey lends Jackass the book and before you know it, Jackass is hooked, unable to stop turning the pages. Yay, there is a happy ending!

I'm afraid that for many children (even tertiary students) these days picking up a book and reading it is so out of their frame of reference that they, like Jackass, can't relate to the experience at all. I've known people who manage to get through school without ever reading a book and they then encounter having to read a novel at university with great resistance because reading has become such a foreign, rusty, out-of-practice act.

This little book is a fabulous reminder that no technology can beat the simplicity of opening a book, feeling the pages between your fingers and diving right in. You don't need a password, you don't need to recharge it and just maybe, maybe, you will find yourself unable to put it down!

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