Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.

Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)

Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.

E-mail to: bookblogforbookworms@keywordeditorial.com for the postal address.

My writing website: http://www.keywordeditorial.com/

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Is reading good for your health?

Children have been taking the flak for not concentrating on their reading. One in six is said to be struggling to read when they move to secondary schools and one in ten boys has an average reading age of about 7. They're not going to be taught to read there but they are likely to be encouraged to keep up with their reading and to read more critically. If they can't read properly in the first place, there are going to be tough times ahead for them. It's no surprise to me as many of them can't speak properly either. Why would that be I wonder?

Nothing to do with spending hours behind a compu'er screen, texting their mates even when they're in the next room or gluing themselves to the TV set instead of reading a book, I suppose. Judging from some of my piano students, anything involving a bit of hard work is just not cool any more. They're happier having things done for them. Even counting the beat only works if I count while they play.

If you can't read, you aren't going to be able to spell either. Or recognise when you use a swear word. 'Bloody?' wrote one of my creative writing students. 'I didn't think that was a swear word.' Pretty tame by today's standards I'll admit but at what point do you stop? And I do wish newsreaders (of all people) would stop saying, 'he was sat' and 'she was stood'.

It will be interesting to see how the Government's new competition encouraging children to read pans out. The national reading scheme is aimed at 7-12-year-olds and it's based on finding those who read the most books. I'm not too sure how you can prove the veracity of that claim as it might be tempting to get other people to read them for you, while you carry on watching Blue Pe'er. Is that still on? Couldn't they get involved in helping their viewers to read, now that libraries are closing down? And would you want to be tagged as the 7-year-old who had read the most books in England? Erm...