If you’re a Google user, by now you’ve seen their fun, soccer-themed logos honoring the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But today’s Google Doodle (June 16) really got our attention here at Book Fairs. The logo features a crowd of fans doing the wave…except for one small fan – the letter “l” – who misses his cue because he has his nose buried in a book. He’s so caught up in what he’s reading that he throws his hand up – the one not holding the book – just a couple of seconds too late.
The logo animation got us buzzing here at Scholastic for a couple of reasons. First, as constant readers, it’s hilariously relatable. Most of us have had similar experiences where we’ve attended a sporting event, and rather than watch the on-court action, we’ve instead cracked open a dog-eared paperback or booted up our mobile e-reader. We know it’s unsociable, but we just can’t help it. We’ll catch the main event just as soon as we finish this next chapter.
We also got a little giddy about today’s logo because we tend to geek out whenever we see reading showcased in some public and hip way. We’ve been emailing each other about today’s Google Doodle because it’s so rare to see reading featured in a popular venue or medium. When it does happen, it’s pretty thrilling. And isn’t that a little sad?
Think about it. You hardly ever see reading featured on television or in movies. I remember practically jumping out of my chair recently when one of the main characters from a popular TV series was shown reading aloud to his son. I was so shocked to see reading included as part of the day-to-day normalcy that I had to rewind and watch the scene twice. It was exciting and weirdly novel to have reading acknowledged in a venue as major as a primetime television show.
For many kids, reading is a daily activity. It’s as normal as doing homework or washing the dishes or brushing your teeth, and yet, you rarely see it happening on television or in movies. In fact, I bet you are more likely to see a character watching television on television than reading a book. I’d love to see more movies and shows featuring kids and adults reading. What a powerful message it would send to readers and non-readers alike to see their favorite character or star reading a book on their favorite show. How cool would that be?
For now, I guess I’ll just have to watch that Google animation a few more times.
--Teryl McLane, Scholastic Book Fairs