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Cut tax on books

Discussion in 'Education news' started by MrMedia, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Nicky Morgan says publishers should cut the price of classics to enable children to read more of them. (??)

    I suggest she proposes VAT not be applied to ebooks so that when they read books on their kindles they read more.
    Why do we pay VAT on ebooks and not paper books?

    Well, I see as much merit in my idea as Nicky's!
     
  2. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    Aren't many of the classics free now on ebooks?
     
    FolkFan likes this.
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Oh yes, everything out of copyright is free, the Gutenburg project saw to that. However, there must be some children somewhere who grew up with farmers' wives, adventures with criminals and lashings of ginger beer who still go into independent bookshops and ask for paper copies of Hard Times in order to form an educational policy and be told, I've very sorry, but paper books of classics are £3.99 and you've only got £3.49 and so I'm not going to sell you the book and your hopes and dreams of emulating SofSs of lore are now over.

    I'm referring to those who have the kindle app synced on several devices who part with their parents' cash and give a slice to George Osborne when they buy The Hunger Games series or indeed a shyster Hard Times that is for sale at £3.49 even when there are free copies available on the kindle store.
     
  4. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    It would be better to tax schools' English literature lessons. They tend to put kids off reading.

    Let's see - a pound per child per lesson?
     
  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Children don't want to read Children's Classics. I would suggest very few are read and enjoyed by anyone.
     
  6. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Maybe, I wonder? Some classics are classics for a reason .. a good one. Maybe if they were on offer for bedtime they might be read a bit?
     
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    What did you have in mind?
     
  8. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    I like the Wind in the Willows.
     
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Did you read it as a child?
     
  10. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Yes, though I skipped the chapter entitled "Piper At the Gates of Dawn", which only an adult would enjoy.
     
  11. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Many of the classics are probably rather dull to a modern child, of course. Morgan is probably trying to reinforce the notion that "old tradition is best", rather than make a genuinely thought out contribution to improving children's literacy.
     
  12. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    In addition, 'classics' were in an age of imperialism and patriarchy - the infamous dead white men. Whilst some women and non-British writers did occasionally break through occasionally and sometimes they wrote about non-rich people (thank you Dickens, et al), 'classics' as they stand is a rather Leavisite imposition reinforced by the Goviots through the NC.
    I think I rather trust the well read English teacher to introduce them to a rich variety of texts from Aphra Behn to David Walliams without fear of down dumbing and abandoning our glorious British values and empire.
    What they need are cheaper books, cheaper ebooks (VAT really???), and exposure to a wider range of texts than that currently being drilled through the limited new GCSE and its Leavisite NC KS3 counterpart.
     
  13. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    What they need are books to read without being goddam tested on them.
     
  14. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Given that your own suggestion of enjoyable classics was one book, I suspect this may be the case!
     
  15. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Yes indeed. I suppose the [oint I was trying to get across was that whatever the book in question, the best chance of it being read was for pleasure, not for grade.

    Unfortunately the "left" are as bad as the right when it comes foisting literature study and grading on kids.

    N'est-ce pas MrMedia?? ;)
     
  16. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Quite right. I used to run an 'intro to literature' course for my baby KS3s in which we did the opening chapter of a book each week for 8 weeks. If you liked the book, you could read the rest, if you hated it, never mind, next week was a new book. The texts ranged from 'classics' to modern. This was much more successful in generating readers than any other policy. Our A level Lit classes also had 50% boys in so that element of choice and validating non-conventional reading really works for long term reading skills. (For the sceptics - we also did WHOLE Shakespeare and WHOLE texts and lots of other traditional stuff as well. ;-))
     
  17. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Nice idea about the opening chapters!

    I don't have a problem with A level literature so much as at least it is a choice freely made from a list of genuine alternatives, and the students are older. But GCSE lit ....
     
  18. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    I don't think children should read the classics - given that it is usually adults who deem them to be classics in the first place. A drama teacher of my acquaintance told me that Dickens is a very funny author and he reads him for pleasure. I could never get into Dickens - but that's probably because I was exposed to him as a child and missed all the subtle humour and digs that he puts in his books - same thing with Shakespeare, Hardy (depressing though it is) etc. Even things like Animal Farm and 1984 need a more adult mindset and world knowledge than the normal year 8 can muster.
     
  19. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Aren't there such things as "children's classics" though? Water Babies? Anne of Green Gables?
     
  20. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Children read books when they find something they want to read. By all means offer a wide choice. Pushing only Classics as worthy of attention will put many readers off.
     
    FolkFan likes this.

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