May 10, 2011
Lighting a Candle of Technology
“Corbin and Eric want you to read to them, Mimi.” It’s not unusual for our son, Philip, to let us know that his sons want their grandmother to read to them. So this last Sunday Phyllis pulled out The Magic Bicycle by John Bibee. And as they sat quietly and attentive, she read to them—via Skype.
Since our grandsons are in Tucson and we are in Chicago,we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. But with Skype, we can have weekly face-to-face visits over the internet. And reading the enchanting Spirit Flyer series has been a hit, especially if we substitute Eric and Corbin’s names for those of the main characters.
Technology has been a deterrent to reading of books by all accounts and surveys. Video games, social media, texting, DVDs and more have sucked away hours each day from young and old alike. In the spirit of (to use a pre-modern image) lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness, we’ve started using technology to help instill a love of books and reading with the new generation.
We give books as gifts as well. And their parents are glad to add those to the collection that populates the bookshelves in their room. Reading opens not only windows to knowledge but to the imagination. Pirates and princesses, elephants and elves—all await between the covers. And so does building a bond—between parent and child, grandparent and grandchild.