One more CPSIA for today
This one about books. My favorite line:
A further question is what to do about public libraries, which daily expose children under 12 to pre-1985 editions of Anne of Green Gables, Beatrix Potter, Baden-Powell’s scouting guides, and other deadly hazards.
One CPSC commissioner, Thomas Moore, has already called for libraries to “sequester” some undefinedly large fraction of pre-1985 books until more is known about their risks.
…almost no one has cared to consider the law’s broad array of unintended consequences, let alone ask what went wrong in the near-unanimous rush to passage of this feel-good law.
Whatever the future of new media may hold, ours will be a poorer world if we begin to lose (or “sequester” from children) the millions of books published before our own era. They serve as a path into history, literature, and imagination for kids everywhere. They link the generations by enabling parents to pass on the stories and discoveries in which they delighted as children. Their illustrations open up worlds far removed from what kids are likely to see on the video or TV screen. Could we really be on the verge of losing all of this? And if this is what government protection of our kids means, shouldn’t we be thinking instead about protecting our kids from the government?
This last paragraph is, for me, the most heart-wrenching one. Wally’s and my FAVORITE books are those from my childhood – or my dad’s childhood. Yes, I expose my children daily to the hazards of old books. I think we’re more likely to suffer problems from the mildew-y smell on some of them than from the lead in the paint.
I can’t imagine losing all of those.
And, I’ll be honest, we have a hard time finding MODERN children’s books that are as good. We find some that are OK. But a lot of them are crap. The illustrations are confusing or just too dang much. The writing is terrible. The characters are hardly memorable – some are outright annoying.
Sigh. I do not like the world we’re headed into.