My husband and I visited our son in his new flat yesterday, and I admit it was purely to watch the first England match as we don't actually have a TV! I am not usually a football fan but I do watch the World Cup and I really enjoyed the evening, although I was enjoying the banter on Twitter as much as the football. What gave me the most pleasure however was seeing the men in my life so enthused and engaged and happy to be sharing the experience together and it got me thinking...... how fantastic would it be to have a wow televised event that promoted reading! This World Cup will bring families and friends together as they watch, it's the camaraderie and fellow feeling we all enjoy, if only there was a way we could harness that and the excitement to focus on encouraging reading. It's a shame that the television companies haven't used this chance to make programmes based on sports writers, or dramatised sports based fiction, or even had a discussion programme with authors that focus on sports of different nationalities talking about their team. (I apologise if they have done this - no telly lol!) Yes I know I'm dreaming and for reading to be given this sort of focus just isn't going to happen but it would be so amazing. Tying in reading with such a high profile sporting event would undoubtedly have made it a bit more cool and less geeky surely? Of course I am very aware that colleagues in schools all over the country are indeed doing this but we can never do enough and a national emphasis on reading is needed, I'm sure we would agree.
The National Year of Reading was great but we need every year to be a year of reading and the media can play such a huge part in ensuring this is so, they just need to do some creative thinking and make encouraging reading a part of their planning. This would help more families to see reading as a shared pleasure, it is not just young people that are reluctant readers after all. The World Cup and other sporting events appeal to a wide ranging clientèle and could be such a powerful force for literacy. Ok back to reality now, realise my wishes don't have much chance of coming true but it's always fun to think what if and daydream .
I've just finished Unlocking the Reader in Every Child so that probably refocussed my attention on reading. It's a good book, interesting and useful for anyone with an interest in reading promotion and it's easy to dip in and out of when more inspiration is needed.
Maybe one day we will have a Reading World Cup - will live in hope - but until then I guess it's up to librarians, teachers, parents etc to see the potential in marrying books with popular events, same as it always has been!
My blog is a collection of thoughts and I hope you will learn something about me from the ramblings as well as finding some useful links. I'm Bev Humphrey and I'm a Literacy, School Libraries and Technology Consultant. I am self employed so views expressed are solely my own.