In various discussions, articles and programmes you often hear that people in Poland don’t read. I thought to myself that this is yet another battlefield we have abandoned. First we let children watch inane Japanese cartoons, then play inane computer games, and now we’re surprised. I also realised that it’s time for the Polish intellectuals to do some organic work once again. Parents could do something to save their children from a world without books.
We must teach how to read. Also, we must LEARN how to talk about interesting facts that might become a reading material. Scientists should talk to their children about science, doctors about medicine, musicians about music, athletes about sport. “All Poland reads to kids” is not enough. We all should tell our children interesting facts about the world. Talk to them and thus encourage them to read.
That is helplessly gullible, I know. Still better though than complaining that “nobody reads” nowadays. I believe that we, the intellectuals, cannot accept the world without books. Even with all the fancy gimmicks around us. They are hardly a replacement for a contact with another human being, let alone my intimate world created by the book.
Prof. Magdalena Fikus
Professor of molecular biology, a lecturer at many prestigious universities and a prominent science populariser. The co-creator, co-organiser and for many years the chairwoman of the Programme Board of the Science Festival in Warsaw. A member of the EUSCEA international association, the chairwoman of the Science Promotion Council at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. A member of the CSC Programme Board since the foundation of the Copernicus Science Centre.