Below are some of the genuine excuses people tried to use to avoid paying their TV licences
"Apparently my dog, which is a corgi, is related to the Queen's dog so I didn't think I needed a TV Licence," is one of the real-life excuses given to TV Licensing last year in an effort to evade payment.
With over 400,000 people caught without a valid TV Licence over the last twelve months it is perhaps not surprising that some explanations were beyond the realms of probability.
"I could not pay as I only have two pairs of pants and they were both in the wash," was the reason given by a viewer in Slough. Meanwhile, television set owner in Scotland claimed he only used his as a lamp. "If you switch it on it gives a good glow which allows me to read my book,"
When watching the dvd of Roald Dahl's Matilda I was amused to hear one line spoken by Danny deVito,
"What can you get from a book that you can't get from a book faster?"
Interesting question for people who write to consider.
It was answered in part by a young girl, Megan aged 10 who read 275 books in the two months of the Booktrust competition which works out at something like 4.5 books each day. The schools have been involved and time provided for reading during the day. As long as I have been in teaching there have been strategies for getting children to read, to the extent that I'm coming round to the viewpoint that reading is influenced by conditioning. In short if there is a history of reading in the family then children will read.
Quite a lot is written about boys and reading but my answer is the same. If they come from reading families they will read. There is a concern about the amount of time spent viewing screens of one type or another but if there is a history of reading the flickering one eyed god in the corner of the room will never supplant the written word and I think it is down to TIME. Reading gives you time to use your imagination the development of which is an essential part of every human's make-up. I can best illustrate this by referring back to the time when my little girl, well she was little then, read the Harry Potter books and then learned of the forthcoming film version which we went to see together. On leaving the multiplex cinema she was both disappointed and annoyed. The film had not stuck close enough to the story and the characters had not lived up to her imagination. In a sense it's rather like comparing an imitation plastic box to a hand crafted wooden version. The former is quick and easy to produce but lacks the depth of quality and workmanship that the wooden box has to offer.
When we write there is a part of ourselves that is intertwined through the words and all that that means. Our culture, generation, history, attitudes and experiences are all in there in some measure and usually in the voice that we are speaking with when writing our works. We write from experience even if we are producing SF, Fantasy Historical or poetic works. None of these things can you derive from a cinematic precis.