It is no secret that I’m a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia series of books and movies, and as a loyal fan, I follow news related to Narnia, and one of my favorite news sources for Narnia-related news is NarniaFans.com. I don’t normally bother to post Narnia-related news here, because I feel that I would never be able to do the justice that a dedicated site such as NarniaFans can do, however today my Google Reader showed me an article relating to Narnia that caught my attention for more reasons then The Lion.
In New Zealand, the New Zealand Book Council’s agency (Colenso BBDO) in Auckland, New Zealand, has come up with a rather ingenious way to try and get more young people to read. When people in New Zealand rent Prince Caspian on DVD from video rental stores in Auckland and the surrounding areas, they see the DVD on the left, and on the right a number of pages, in fact, they see the first 2 chapters of Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis, with a title page that contains the question “Is the book better than the movie?”
I felt like posting about this story here because I love anything that encourages young people to read. When I was growing up, the Chronicles of Narnia were some of my personal favorite books to read, and I read them over and over again, today sadly a lot of young people who go to see these movies (which are fantastic), don’t even realize that these wonderful books exist. By putting the first couple of chapters of a book in with the DVD Rental, perhaps children who enjoy the movie will decide to read the accompanying beginning of the book, and when they get hooked, will head to their local library to grab the rest of it.
This could obviously work for series other than Narnia, imagine if the Harry Potter DVDs included the first two chapters of their accompanying books. I know by chapter 2 of Philosopher’s Stone, I was hooked on J.K. Rowling’s style.
And why limit it to the DVD release, and have movie theaters hand out pamphlets of the first chapter of Inkheart after children go to see that imaginative tale this month?
I applaud the New Zealand Book Council for trying out this imaginative campaign to bring more young people to literature. It is my belief that with more children reading books, we will have a much brighter tomorrow.