It’s only natural I feel that as a lover of books, one gets caught up in bookish currents no matter where, no matter how. Yesterday at work, I was hankering for a much-needed escapade from routine and I started reading this article on The Guardian about American author Neil Gaiman’s thoughts on the future of reading books and libraries.

Neil Gaiman has always astonished me with his imagination, his story-telling prowess (You must surely read ‘The Graveyard Book‘ to know what I’m talking about). But this interview documented few years ago totally blew me. Even as a kid, Neil Gaiman was very passionate about reading and he wishes to see the same in today’s kids. This was the central idea of his interview recorded on the web magazine and his views on the topic are real eye-openers. Here are some extracts of it that might interest you too.

Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told.

I believe we have an obligation to read for pleasure, in private and in public places. If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing.

Albert Einstein was asked once how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. “If you want your children to be intelligent,” he said, “read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” He understood the value of reading, and of imagining. I hope we can give our children a world in which they will read, and be read to, and imagine, and understand.

Read the full interview here.

What are your thoughts? What do you guys think how should children be encouraged today to read more than be glued to digital mediums?

-Asha Seth