So anyway I added my own recollection, as much an image, a frame of memory interspersed with characters and emotions as a story:
Port Moresby, 4-5 years old, behind is the garden dominated by a couple of huge rainforest trees, perhaps figs, sun filtering in, I'm looking at a blackboard, or maybe one of those word charts, the word I remember was dog, dog was important because of Psyche, my first and only dog, Psyche didn't mind when I was adopted into the family, she adopted me too, her crazy, bug-eyed blue heeler face smiling and happy in my first memories of the world, so I read dog and my father approved and everything lined up in my world.
Later I learned she would stand in front of my cot, becoming aggressive when anyone other than my parents approached.
30 years later I put down a brochure on Steiner schools because they talked of reading like it was a chore. I loved it then, I love it now.
So does Bear.
Mitts is too young of course, but his favourite toy is Doggybook.
Life is more of a continuum than is first apparent...
I do not know whether we will still read, in a way that you and I would now recognise, in a couple of decades. But I hope that the art of enjoying books, and sophisticated narrative, is not lost in the continuing spiral of blogs, tweets, iPhones and high volume information dispersal.
The visceral pleasure of handling the book has not yet been lost. One day, Mitta Man's love of mauling Doggybook may translate into a Phd thesis containing the secret to peace for all humankind.
If we get to the point where it is all downloaded instantly into our brains, I think something will be lost. Call me a luddite, a sentimentalist...