Today is World Book Day! In some places in the world anyway. (Others will have to wait.)
A great article in the Independent asks: "Is World Book Day, in essence, anything more than an excuse for . . . bourgeois self-improvement?
There are many reasons why we want our children to read, and vanity is one of them. The sight of a child buried in a book is a potent symbol of intelligence, self-reliance, imagination and cultural awareness. And it does no harm to the parents' self-image as inspirational figures.
Just yesterday I was telling J-F that while I was sorting laundry, I realized I was hearing silence, so immediately I scurried over to where I thought I'd left Helena, and she'd clambered up into the chair and was happily flipping the pages of de Bono's Thinking Course, and it really made my heart smile.
But it is by no means scientifically proven that non-reading children will end up as losers or philistines, nor that chronic bookworms invariably grow into well-adjusted human beings.
But I don't know many smart people who don't read. So there. So, read.