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vendredi, 01 mai 2015

Anne Ain't Right

Read article about Anne Enright's views on “bonding time” and bedtime reading here.


This is such a silly point Anne Enright is making here. 

As a (small) child, I did not like being read to at all, much in the same way as I didn't like animated pictures very much. As soon as I could read, I started spending hours reading every day, with a keen love for poetry and drama, and have become a person for whom reading literary works and essays is fundamental. (I read an average of 3 to 7 books each week, always with my fingers in several pies simultaneously.)

Very early on, my wife and I would read books and stories to my elder son (he had a favourite dog story at the age of 4 months and a half). Then it was history books for kids, stories, Claude Ponti, complex documents about animals and wildlife, you name it. He was never bored and I remember suffering physically when I had to read Astérix comic books to him (have you ever tried reading a 48-page book full of speech balloons to a 6-year-old kid who can't read ? I'm not recommending it). 

Unlike him, his younger brother has never been really fond of being read to. We read a lot of stories to him, true, but, interestingly, this was almost never part of the bedtime ritual. So it's not that we as parents failed to have "quality time" with him. We had a lot of quality moments with him (cuddles, laughs, playing games, listening to music), but far fewer “reading” experiences than with his brother....... because he didn't especially want that !

So I'd like Anne Enright (whose work is crap anyway) to bear in mind that :

1. not all children are alike

2. educating a child is not only imposing things on him or her

3. the link between a dislike for bedtime reading and an uncultivated adult remains to be established


On a different note : reading has always been a “niche activity”. When I was a child, I was some kind of an extraterrestrial just because I read novels and poetry. Besides, Anne, if you want to have people believe you are a writer and not some kind of moronic recycler of sociological claptrap, consider not using expressions like “bonding time” and “niche activity”.


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