River Wissey Lovell Fuller


March 2007

Les bemoans the lack of interest in reading with more and more people lured to day time TV.

Some people may find this hard to believe but I give considerable thought to articles as Ernie Wise use to say, "like what I write"

Should its content be humorous? But then what might amuse one person may well be considered, by many, not the least bit funny. In that case should we inject a more serious tone? If so in what direction? I'm often told that most people want to read about what interests them; that being so local interests I would have thought would appeal more than events further a field.

So let's look at the local scene and see what I can now write that will have loyal readers of the Village Pump switching off the more recent edition of "Deal or no Deal" as they clamour to read my latest contribution. Well stone the crows I'm already hoisting the white flag, I'm stumped before I start. I haven't a clue what people like reading.

In fact do people these days do much reading? I was talking to a lady recently who told me she only buys one newspaper a week and that's just to find out what's on the TV. In contrast goodness knows how many newspapers I read but it costs me some £15 a week, that's £60 per month. My favourite being The Times, a quality paper if ever there was one; I can recommend it if you don't already buy it.

There is no question about it, writing articles is a rather traumatising business. Only the other week I sent in one of my masterpieces, just a minute do I hear cries of derision, even if I do I shall continue. I sent it to the Feltwell Parish Magazine and holy mackerel they saw fit not to publish it leaving me in a real state of how's your father. But you know what they say, you can't win them all.

Staying with this question of reading I often find that when I go in to one of our Libraries just how few people are there. Most of them don't seem to be selecting books but are busy at their computers. If you want to borrow a book it doesn't cost you anything; but then, I suppose, neither does using a Library computer.

It appears we are back to one of my favourite subjects, free medicine, free bus travel, free books, free use of computers. Where will it end? I just wonder if we take advantage of these freebies as we should; maybe if Libraries charged for their services more people would use them.

I've just been reading an article by Alan Johnson the Education Secretary who thinks that reading helps children, and I think this applies to adults as well, with their literacy skills and sparks their imagination and creativity. He goes on to say that inspiring children to read is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child; well I couldn't put it better myself.

I think the problem is that our home lives are dominated by TV and we watch that incessantly not because the programmes are that good but because it requires no effort to do so. Sometimes I wonder if we donated our brains to charity we should still be left with enough faculties to watch TV.

Les Lawrence

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