JudiAU - in our city income defines who is reading what. in the lower income district i see smaller not v. well stocked libraries. in richer areas wow!!! the libraries are awesome. when i put books on hold, i find their stock is mostly in the richer libraries. just like grocery stores.
yet in the poorer areas the libraries are being used religiously. their events have high attendance. the communities DO want to read. but they just dont have the time to. so many dont go to the library. i have volunteered with a children's reading program and all the kids i have worked with through the years were mostly with the working poor for whom literally 20 mins of reading time was asking too much.
another thing i discovered which was a cultural and age thing. most immigrant kids and kids with grandparents in the home - they didnt read to the kids much because they had rich storytellers in the family. while these kids struggled with reading and writing, their imaginations stood out.
i recall i stopped pretty much reading to dd when she started reading herself. in fact i kinda stopped at 4 at bedtime just coz i was so exhausted by the end of the day that reading aloud would put me to sleep. so instead i became a story teller. when dd started reading by herself i completely stopped. instead now we read sections to each other of what we find funny or like.
i really do feel reading is a privilege. however i also equate reading to video games. too much reading is bad (here i am talking about older kids). i have a child addicted to reading and i have to draw a line at how much she can read.
mind you the political activist in me really protests the emphasis at reading. is it really that important? or are they focusing on it so that teh world will have more workers and so the wheels of the corporations can go on turning.
i really really hate the emphasis on reading. it was so much that a child from dd's school had to leave the school. yes he couldnt read v. well but OMG all the sculptures and drawings he made - grades above what the other kids did. and that was never ever even acknowledged.
sorry OT. i really do think reading is a privilege and its not the parents fault if they are not reading to their kids.
i aplogize deeply if i have tread on any toes. this is a v. sore topic for me and i get all emotional about it. i think agriculture was the ancient bane of society. and i think reading to the level we expect them to is the bane of todays society.