Guardian is very good ths morning on the need to make time for reading, after the shameful admission of Fleur Pellerin, France's minister for culture, that she didn't read. Ms Pellerin is not alone. A senior HMI told me twenty years ago that she didn't read any more, and both cited overwork. Books, though, are essential, and in some ways quicker than computers - information reaches us from the page at the speed of light, we go at our own speed, and they don't crash. Above all, we are in control, and not some editor shaping material according to his or her own agenda. We select what we want, and how much we want.
Michael Rosen has written a very good book, entitled Good Ideas. It's his take on ways parents can teach and help their children in the course of their daily lives, and is sprinkled with anecdotes about the way his father, the late Professor Harold Rosen, taught, and sometimes didn't teach, him. Anecdotes convey direct human experience, and are in some ways more interesting and valuable than the statistics and data that are habitually presented as the only way to truth. Michael Rosen recently agreed with a comment I made on the Guardian site (as Quaestor) about the value of conversation with children, and he feels about his father much as I do about mine.
Having this published, foibles and all - Professor Rosen and I share a less than ideal approach to DIY - helps us to value and use our own experience, and there are useful and insightful ideas here on a wide range of topics, including the language inside our minds, and getting the most out of Google. Definitely worth a card at the library, so that other people can read it once you've finished with it. I'll donate my copy when I've finished it. A pity they picked Michael's clowning rather than serious side for the cover, because the ideas inside really are rather good.