Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 11 May 2024

Does Anybody Read Books Anymore?

It was brilliantly done in the Children of Men, the growing realisation that babies had stopped being born. Midwives began calling other maternity units asking if they had any births booked in. “No…” they all slowly replied. I am reminded of this scene when I talk to children about reading books. “Do you,” I ask hopefully, “read books?”

“No…” they all slowly reply.

What is even more chilling is the number of adults who have also stopped. We may buy them, but do we read them? I think the evidence of the past 20 years, or at least since the iPhone came on stream, suggests conclusively that people have stopped reading properly and allowed their empty minds to be filled with utter garbage. We are approaching the time in Anglo Saxon England, before Alfred the Great pulled things together, when there was only one man left in the country who knew what those funny shapes on bits of parchment meant.

I mentor children in state schools with a view to encouraging them to apply to decent universities. I have been doing so for over three years with a growing sense of panic. According to someone who might know, it’s only 10 books that mark out a successful prospective applicant to Oxbridge. Ten books read on top of the usual books that decent Universities once expected sparky students to have read by the age of 18. I raised this idea recently and one bright boy had a good think about this and said slowly, “I think I’ve read five.” He seemed quite pleased with himself. We then realised he meant five books in total. The other children in the group looked impressed. One shook her head and said, “They made me read in primary school and as soon as I left, I stopped.”

I teach a segment on developing opinions and we stage debates. Often, they end up being about God or climate change. At no point yet have I met any child who has read any part of the Bible or the IPCC report – but their opinions about such matters are strident. And these are the bright ones; I have no doubt they will do extremely well in their GCSEs.

“Oh, stop being snobby,” shouts my husband from his book-lined study, “Of course children read books, just not the ones you like.”  He’s wrong. They don’t. With every new session of mentees we talk about the books we’re reading. It’s a pretty thin selection: Colleen Hoover and the Bridgerton series, until one girl said, “Sorry not Bridgerton, I thought you meant books on television.” I also ask children about their daily screen time on phones – for the boys it’s an average of two hours, for the girls between three and four. That’s on top of a full day at school. No wonder there’s no time for reading. With the less academic children I mentor, we’re talking about six hours screen time a day. The record is 13 hours a day.

The same applies to adults; we’re all too busy on our phones to read a book. I am writing this opposite the spine of The Earth Transformed, a vast 700-page tome by Peter Frankopan, bought for the pretty map printed on the edges of its pages, now unseen on the shelf. It is unthinkable that either I or my husband will read it. Has anyone? Honestly?

Read More: Does Anybody Read Books Anymore?

The Dream

From our advertisers