Friday, December 18, 2015

What Happens When Homes Have No Books ~ Acculturated

KaiLonnie Dunsmore
Douglas Fisher
What Happens When Homes Have No Books
Acculturated:  12.16.2016 by Stephanie Cohen

Carol Rasco, President of Reading is Fundamental, recently asked, “Can you imagine a childhood without books?”

Rasco’s piece noted that two-thirds of the country’s poorest children don’t own a single book. These children are little different than the character Francie, the poor girl living in the Williamsburg slums of New York in 1912, who has long captivated readers in Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Francie, who commits herself to reading every book in the library, in alphabetical order—twice—starts copying one of her favorite books page-by-page because she is worried that the library might lose this favorite selection:

A child without books is little different than a home without books. The bookless home is the logical consequence of a society that stops reading deeply. It is a state that has been imagined by some of history’s greatest science fiction writers.  Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, for example, invites us into a society that investigates readers and burns down book-infested homes. In a 1993 introduction to his book (before the advent of the smartphone), Bradbury presciently pointed out that matches would never be needed to achieve a bookless world like the fictional one he had created. Killing off the hunger to read would do the job just as well (with far less smoke and mess) and be achieved by drowning everyone in a vacuum of empty noise, with no controversies, no opinions, no intellectuals:

Bradbury, who was too poor to go to college, understood that the case for books is partly about finding an economical way to fund dreams and build knowledge. He spent much of his childhood and early adult years in a library amassing an education shelf by shelf, instead of course credit by course credit. “Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends,” Bradbury said. “The things you’re looking for… are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book.”  READMORE @

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