Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And It Rages On

About a month back, the New York Times published an article about letting kids pick their own books. Wow! What an astonishing, avant-garde educational philosophy!

In response, Meg Cabot posted about "How to Foster a Hatred of Reading," talking about her own experience with the Great Books and affection for (read: obsessive love) of the novelization of The Fantastic Voyage.

Here's another side of the discussion. Over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books a few weeks back (yeah, I'm a little late on this one) Smart Bitch Sarah talks about the two camps in literary-land, which might be called the snobs and the slobs.
The slobs think the snobs think everything you read should be a work of literature that will enrich your life forever, and be a statement of art and the human condition. . . . The snobs think the slobs are intellectually lazy, and don’t understand why you’d want to read something poorly-written, or that adhered to a formula. . . . Both sides are really annoying, because they both, by and large, have it wrong, even if they do get a couple of things right.
(There's more; click through for the full, fascinating post.)

Like any really good debate, I find myself nodding at some things all the debaters say, and going, "Ummm . . ." at others. As a public librarian, I'm more firmly in the "Pick Your Own" camp, but some of the things Sarah mentions about the two camps' pre/misconceptions of each other resonate.

Where do you fall?

1 comment:

The Floating Lush said...

Honestly, I think fostering a love of reading is more important than Required Reading. I hated most of the required reading I had to do in school, and I'm an annoying smarty-pants who was (and still is!) always always reading lots of books. "Good" books and "bad" books and "classic" books and "new" books and any kind of books I could get my greedy little hands on.

I'm a librarian, and a daughter of a librarian, so reading all the time is the norm in the world I come from. But I still think assigned reading sucks.

My take is here, although I wish I had know about the SBTB post when I wrote it, because I would have had stuff to say about that too!