The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Our Readers Speak

February 26, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

A child’s imagination develops with books

I would like to respond to “lack of books is why children fail in school.” I agree with Ms. Perry’s take on the younger generations decline in reading skills. With the introduction of video games, cell phones, texting, tablets and iPads, the art of reading, and more importantly, the art of comprehension, has suffered.

Perry also mentioned that there are no bookstores in the Beckley area. As operator of the first and oldest bookstore in the Beckley area, I must disagree. T&C Book Exchange was here long before the big chain stores came and then left. We have been supplying books to southern West Virginia since 1974. Unlike the large chain stores, we accept books in on trade, and have over 100,000 books to choose from.

There was a day when kids of all ages would come into the store with their parents to choose books from our large children’s section. But since iPads and tablets became popular, the kids have stopped coming to the store, and I fear, have also stopped reading as well.

Our schools have implemented the use of iPads in classrooms in order to replace books and, hopefully, increase learning skills. With computers in just about every house, even encyclopedias have gone the way of the dinosaurs. When we accept them in the store, we cannot give them away for free when we get them.

So please grab an actual book, curl up in a comfortable chair and teach a child to read so that they can be transported to a place of their imagination.

Jeff Mays


What is wrong with our society today?

As I see the letters to the editor being freedom of free speech and freedom of the free press, I also do see our state’s drug problem as being a very serious issue. Prescription drugs as well as illegal drugs.

I also see the issues of mental health and treatment and prevention. Why are we such a disturbed society, addicted to tranquilizers and mind-altering drugs?

Why are we so disturbed when we prefer around-the-clock noise to tranquility? Why can’t we give our minds and bodies rest by going outdoors and looking at a starlit summer night. Why? And feeling a peaceful warm summer night’s breeze, versus the electronic roar of electronic disturbance? These questions I ask.

Why do we stare into computer screens and television screens and video games instead of looking into each other’s faces and learning to smile at each other? Why is there so much violence when we do not even feel the compassion of touching or looking at each other? These questions I ask.

Why is there so much obesity and diabetes and heart disease when we prefer to buy ourselves, as well as our children, electronics instead of tossing a football or baseball with them? Or teaching them to ride a bicycle? Or taking them fishing or camping or going hiking? These questions I ask.

What is wrong with society?

Leonard C. McIe

French Creek

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