Neil Gaiman on the Future of Reading and Libraries
The Reading Agency lecture was founded “as a platform for leading writers and thinkers to share original, challenging ideas about reading and libraries as we explore how to create a reading culture in a radically changed 21st century landscape.” In his lecture, Gaiman cited examples of ways that adults can bring books into the lives of the children around them and reminded writers to make their books interesting. He concluded with a thought exercise and a challenge to all readers, writers, and people.
Excerpts from Gaiman’s speech:
“I think we have responsibilities to the future. Responsibilities and obligations to children, to the adults those children will become, to the world they will find themselves inhabiting. All of us – as readers, as writers, as citizens – have obligations. I thought I’d try and spell out some of these obligations here.”
“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.”
“We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.”