What are the dangers of reading books and should we do anything about them?

I started to worry about the effects of book reading after I had been interrupted by sounds from my neighbour’s garden.

The calling in of Poirot or Holmes, however, was not necessary in establishing the reason for the commotion – the parents had decided that their teenager had spent enough of the day on whatever device he was on and had summoned him to join the family meal outside.

The teenager did not agree, but his argument against the “come outside” view lost a certain amount of its pervasive force, in my view, by being limited to expressions of how much she hated her parents and the rest of the family.

But then I remembered my teenage years in which my parents also sought on occasion to get me out of my book and into family conversation. Was I just a pre-digital version of this teenage girl’s behaviour?

Thus I got to wondering about the difference between books and video games, and in doing this I found a large number of articles saying that playing video games is good for young people because it stimulates their imagination and enhances creative thinking.

But that wasn’t what I observed as I did my nosy neighbour bit.  So I dug further and found that in articles written by psychologists with proper qualifications the clear view is that playing these games increases heart rate and blood pressure.  Stress hormones rise and the individual becomes overstimulated – and often unable to come down.

Although any kind of reading stimulates the brain, researchers at Stanford University found that “literary reading” (as, for example, reading of the classics) stimulates multiple cognitive functions. They conclude that reading a novel and then discussing it, thinking about it, and/or writing about it is an extraordinarily effective “brain exercise”.

In short reading a novel stimulates the imagination, while playing contemporary video games stimulates creativity in response to the game, but reduces any sense of exploration of abstract ideas and the ability to communicate.

So, after my grand survey of one family I conclude that reading is still a good idea. And to help encourage reading Wordsworth Editions has a very wide range of classics from as little as £1.88 each (with no delivery charge and no minimum order) covering authors from Conan Doyle to Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne to James Joyce.

If you want to see our selection of 50 essential texts taken from our full range of 400 titles, please do click here.

We also have our offer of a free book just in case you have not come across Wordsworth Editions before. To receive a free sample of one of our classics without any obligation please do email education@wordsworth-editions.com with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you with our compliments.


What is the easiest way to give applicants and colleagues a feeling for work in a nursery and all that it can involve?

While reading about the work of nurseries and Sure Start Centres can teach us a lot, videos provide a much more meaningful experience for those who wish to get insights into what the day to day work with very young children is really all about.

All the videos listed below can be purchased outright or bought through our video on demand service. In each case you can watch a clip from the video on our website by following the link provided.

I Don’t Need Toys  A film about play in the first two years of life.  (18 Mins)

This film depicts babies and toddlers at play in the home environment, playing with household, natural and recycled objects as they discover, learn and gain enormous pleasure and satisfaction. At all times the babies and children are being supervised by a caring adult (with whom they have secure relationships) although the adults are rarely visible in the film.   More details here

Individual Differences: Infancy to Early Childhood (16 Mins)

Our individuality is created by genetic traits and the environment we explore as babies.  This film explores individuality and the broad range of characteristics that are considered normal. Tests devised to separate personality differences from traits that indicate developmental problems, are shown.  More details here

Infant Hearing Tests in three infant age groups. (28 Mins)

The video shows demonstrations of how to test the hearing of three age groups including the Distraction Test (6-18 months), Co-operative Test (18-30 months) and Performance Test (30+ months). Testing a hearing-impaired child is also demonstrated.  More details here.

Soft Baby Yoga: Yoga stretching for very young children, in an atmosphere of play. (17 Mins)

This step by step guide shows how to make full use of your baby’s natural love of movement and offers a very enjoyable way to encouraging a full range of versatile movement to maintain flexibility as a baby strengthens.   More details here.

Aggression in Young Children: Is hitting, biting and bullying normal? (16 mins)

If such behaviour is considered “normal” when does such behaviour start and when and how should we intervene to stop it?   These are indeed fundamental questions, because if we do consider aggression to be a normal part of young children’s behaviour, then that will affect the way we deal with it at school.

This two-disc DVD set uses direct observations filmed in natural settings and includes exercises, quizzes and interviews with experts on childhood aggression and offers a comprehensive guide to the subject.  More details here.

Speech and Language Therapy with Children: The development of oral communication skills (16 mins)

This programme looks at all aspects of the development of oral communication skills in children and some of the specific difficulties children experience. It shows in detail therapists working with children with various difficulties.  More details here

Yoga Gym: Animal Stretches: Teaching 3 to 7 year olds elementary stretches relating to animals.   (20 mins)

Children love and enjoy these stretches which maintain muscular suppleness and improve the flexibility of all the major joints. These stretches can be used on a one-posture-a-day basis or woven into a simple story and will maintain good posture and a wide range of versatile movement.

This is also a fun way for children to reduce nervous tension and muscular armouring and restore emotional balance and agility.  More details here.


These videos relating to the work of nursery schools and Sure Start Centres are brought to you by Concord Media, an educational charity founded over 50 years ago and the source for many significant programmes in the education field’.  The videos can be bought outright or viewed through our video on demand service.

For more information and to order please follow the link with each individual video.  If you have any questions you can contact us on 01473 726 012 or via email at sales@concordmedia.org.uk

Our postal address is Concord Media, 22 Hines Road, Ipswich. IP3 9BG