LIVE LONGER! READ BOOKS!
A survey published by the academics of the University of Queensland this week concluded that every hour glued to the TV ‘shortens life by 22 minutes’. What better excuse do we bibliophiles have for getting up out of our chairs ( very good exercise) to get another book off the shelf – we’re all going to live longer!
Though I must admit that I would willingly give up 22 minutes of my life to watch Idris Elba in ‘The Wire’ , or indeed in anything,( make that 44 minutes), our brains are surely stimulated more by the inspiring words we read than by any visual input. Books we read in our childhood stay with us throughout our lives. Whether it is the Harry Potter series, or Terry Pratchett’s novels , ‘The Arabian Nights’, or ‘Swallows and Amazons’, two of my personal childhood favourites, remembering them we still get that same tingle of excitement as when we first stepped into those imaginary worlds.
Once seduced by the written word, whether by having stories read to one as a child or having discovered them subsequently, one is hooked for life. And so much is owed to Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling, who are probably the authors most responsible for inspiring young people to read. Subsequently, those readers will pass their enthusiasm onto the next generation. We have proof of that at Prometheus Bound as we bind so many books to be given to godchildren and grandchildren and from children treating their parents to a special edition of their favourite book.
Cultivating the imagination of a young child is of paramount importance.
I’d like to refer to the following quote, by a scientist, no less:
‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand’.
This was articulated by Albert Einstein.