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Monday, 18 April 2016


Q Why don't students have time to read entire books?

A Because graduates tend not to be avid readers.

This pronouncement caused quite a stir when it hit  the British newspapers earlier this week - because most of us thought it must be a joke.

Jenny Pickerill, professor in environmental geography at the University of Sheffield told the Times Higher Education magazine 'students struggle with (whole books), saying the language or concepts are too hard.'

'Recommending whole books would overwhelm them' agrees Jo Brewis, professor of organisation and consumption at Leicester University. 'Graduates and post graduates seem mainly not to be avid readers.'

Professor Brewis wants students to read more as does Len Fisher, visiting fellow in physics at the University of Bristol who regrets the  move towards seeking information on the internet since books 'drive and encourage readers to think for themselves in a way that just looking up the answers does not...'

After a long conversation with my six-year-old granddaughter who has just finished reading a whole book, I have come to the conclusion that if this is  2016, then April makes fools of us all.


Lindsay said...

At the risk of outraging some people, I can only assume that the reason why some graduates can't mange to read a whole book is that we have downgraded the educational attainment required for a degree so much in the past thirty years that some students are now fairly intellectually challenged.

My brother-in-law has does some part time lecturing at a well known London over the past few years and he is horrified at many students' poor literacy skills!

In my youth approximately 10% (the top 10%) went to university - now it's around 50%. (About 40% of 18-20 year olds) Clearly this tells us something!

On a different note was reading someone's blog about what she is currently reading and your book was one of the three books on the go!

Guernsey Girl said...

Good to hear your thoughts, Lindsay. It's a difficult subject but a real indication of how much things have changed.

Keep a look out for my new novel, Occupying Love, set in the German Occupation of Guernsey. It's the story of one woman, two men and the impossible choice between love and duty. Available at the end of June.

Barbara Fisher said...

Hello Marilyn, I love your closing paragraph and couldn't agree more. Right I’m off to read the beginning and end of my book – I just can’t cope with the middle bit it’s far too difficult. What tosh! x

Guernsey Girl said...

Thanks for making me smile, Barbara. I've just spent a delightful few days with my two granddaughters - the eldest read me her homework as soon as she got in from school. The youngest, who is now two-and-a-half, corrected me when I pointed to a plane. 'Actually, Grandma,' she said. 'It's a helicopter!'

Barbara Fisher said...

That is so sweet Marilyn. Is it just me or do children know much more than we ever did at such a young age? I'm not sure I would have known what a helicopter was at two-and-a-half never mind been able to name it.

Lilly and Zoe come out with the funniest things on the phone. I never fail to finish talking to them without a great big grin on my face. The trouble is they talk so fast that I don’t catch all of it, and my son has to translate – well they are Australian after all! :)