I have no words for this.

WFeatured imagehen I woke up this morning the sun was shining really bright, which made me instantly happy. So, I packed a book, some nice food and went to the park. Reading time!

When I got to the park, I instantly noticed that a lot of people were actually reading. And by a lot, I mean A LOT, like seventy percent of the people a lot. This is something that made me very happy, because lately all people read are other peoples social media statuses. Although it made me smile, it also made me kind of a creep. I´m way to curious about books and also other peoples reading habits, so I was (subconsciously) starring at other peoples books, eager to know what they were reading. Which took one really weird stare from a boy (who by the way was reading The Circle by Dave Eggers) for me to realize that it might creep the hell out of people. So I decided to focus on my own great piece of literature (which is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, not finished yet, but already love it).

After an hour or so, a mother and three young children sat next to me. Two of her children instantly ran to the playground. After ten minutes they were already sick of the swings and slides, so their mother gave them her iPhone to play games and not bother her while getting a tan. The third kid, on the other hand, starts reading a book (sadly, I could not see which book it was). After half an hour the mother suddenly stood up and grabbed the book out of the girls hands, yelling (in Dutch): “You have read enough for today. Go and play with your brothers, NOW!” I was stunned. Like, I was pretty sure I didn’t hear that correctly. I mean, I understand it is important for a kid to play with other kids. But, this mother stopped her daughter from reading a book, so she can play on an iPhone with her brothers. I would have completely understood her position if she had grabbed the tablet as well, and sent all three of them to the playground. I had to watch the girl go from smiling at her book to reluctantly watch her brothers play a game on a phone. It broke my heart.

I have no words for this.

4 thoughts on “I have no words for this.

  1. BlackLaceandGlitter says:

    That is quite sad… I would confess I have read an extremely large amount in the past (and still do), but feel so lucky my parents allowed me to do so, since it helped shape who I am.

    1. Nathalie says:

      Me too! And I am also very glad there are still a lot of parents (like ours) who do support their reading children, but this situation really got me trembling! Hopefully I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time;)

  2. Growing up in 70’s and not exactly coming from a ‘reading” family, I remember standing out as quite the odd ball. My Dad used to tell me that I was ruining my eyes, my mother would tell me that it wasn’t healthy for me to have my nose in a book all the time … however, no one objected that I sat on the front porch every other Thursday in summer waiting for the book mobile.

    The fact is that books were my adventure, in them I traveled the world and met thousands of people from all cultures. It is sad today that our young people read text messages, emails and the occasional blog. They Tweet and update their other social media status’s several times a day … but only a few read books and fewer still write.

    Although we live in the age of information, and our kids are smart, super smart, it is so sad to me to see young kids with electronic devices in their little hands and like you, it warms my heart to see them reading a book.

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