My Guest: Robert J Dornan author of ‘Jack City’

Imagine If You Had No Imagination

There are many surveys on whether or not today’s teens read and of course there are many different results.  The results vary based on the demographic and the company doing the study.

From my computer and the having security of knowing that everything I read on the Internet is true (sarcasm), I have researched that thirty-three percent read at least ten minutes five times a week (outside of school) as well as another survey that concludes that sixty-five percent of American teenagers are avid readers and they are buying more books than ever before.  Those are two very different conclusions, don’t you think?

So let’s skip the multitude of articles and/or opinions and listen to our own…or mine.

In this world of video games, horrible reality TV and even worse, a barrage of mindless TV teenage dramas, there seems to be little room for our children to read books of any kind.  It is so easy to believe that we are churning out a generation of non readers but in my opinion we would be wrong.  Whether I am on a train  going to work or watching my children at sporting events, I see teenagers reading.  If they’re with friends they are chatting, if they’re by themselves they are reading.  It could most definitely be the demographic but in my case the demographic is encompassing one huge area.

If our kids are not reading, then as parents, we have no one else to blame but ourselves. We cannot force someone else’s child to read but we can guide them. The following is an example of what I have told my own kids in the past that may have influenced them to pick up more books.

  1. Some of your favourite celebrities are avid readers. Natalie Portman, President Obama, Oprah Winfrey,  Madonna,  Robert Pattison, Bill Gates, Kate Beckinsale and a host of others are just a sampling of media personalities that read two to three books a month.
  2. We all have imaginations but not everyone has a heightened imagination.  If you do not read you will not have an above average imagination.  If you do not have a great imagination you cannot create and will never create anything worthwhile.  If you cannot create anything substantial then your future is dim. Make your choice.

Of course, like anything else, habits and personalities are hardwired from one generation to the next.  If Mom and Dad don’t read the chances are good that their offspring will never have the urge to pick up a book.  It’s hard to order your kids to make their bed if you haven’t made yours in six months (which coincidentally explains why I never tell my kids to make their beds). This is not a science of any kind, it is common sense that has been repeated over and over again.  Parents are role models for any child at any age.  If you are an avid reader then your child will most likely be one. The family that reads together…has some wicked wonderful dinner conversations.  I would bet my last cent (which again coincidentally, because of many bills this week, is in my right pocket) that readers are on average smarter and more successful than non readers.  I have no doubt about this simply because it would defy logic if it were not true and also because of my financial situation, I don’t stand to lose much if I’m wrong.

Visual is always better than audio.  Pick up a book and read, your children will be thankful without ever realizing what you have done.

There is no creativity without imagination.  The world’s most beautiful creation awaits one child…to open a book.


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