Thursday, 19 January 2017

"I hate reading!"

Ouch! I was in the local library yesterday - to pick up a book on inter-library-loan. It is a book I need to read. 
One of the staff greeted me with a wry smile and jerked her head in the direction of a sulky looking ten or eleven year old boy. He was pulling books off the shelves, glancing at them and then shoving them roughly back into place. His mother was looking both angry and anxious.
      "You've had all the holidays to do this!" she told him - probably again - as  he had to pick up a book that had fallen off the shelf.
      "I don't care! I tell you I hate reading! It's a waste of time! I've got better stuff to do!"
      "And I am telling you it has to be done. Mr.... (presumably his teacher) expects it to  be done. If you spent a bit less time mucking around playing games on that damn computer...."
And so it went on. 
Apparently she had already told him he couldn't take anything that "looks like a comic" and that it had to be "for someone your age unless you want everyone to think you are a baby".  I got that information - very quietly - from the staff member.
There was a rather smaller girl at the self-serve checkout. She was checking out six or seven good sized books she looked only just old enough to read.  She glanced in the direction of the boy and his mother, sighed and sat down on the carpet. She opened a book and started to read.
The boy finally found something that met with his mother's approval. She had to remind him how to use the self-serve check out and then she said to the girl,
      "Come on, hurry up. You waste far too much time with your nose in a book."
She picked up her books and followed them out of the library and gave me a sad little shrug and faint smile. 
I think there are mixed messages in that household. My sympathy is with the girl. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like our two. I used to tell one to start homework, and one to stop doing homework at the same time. One didn't want to start, the other wanted to do more, and more!

A contrast now, the one who didn't want to do homework loves reading, the one who didn't want to stop doing homework got sick of reading at uni, and rarely reads for pleasure.