i think 50 books a year for kids is a reasonable number. that works out to about one book a week - not hard at all if you cut down on some tv and computer games.
i agree with browne that it's the quality of the kids' reading experiences that really matter. i also agree with garner that the aim should be a reading that is wide and deep. i agree to an extent with pullman that kids should be allowed to read rubbish... well, some rubbish, specified rubbish, but not all the rubbish they want.
the number itself is arbitrary. i think the purpose of the number really is to encourage (or force) kids to read more... more of anything, in the hope that their reading will somehow turn out good quality and wide and deep. and forcing a number increases the odds of that. so, no, i don't think that gove's remark was a stupid suggestion.
of course, though, the crux should really be to encourage reading for pleasure. but i think that responsibility lies more with parents than the government or anyone else.
2. three things which i let happen to me today, i will do everything in my power never to allow ever to happen again.
3. i miss colin. but i know she's so fmlly dead to the world now that even if robber enter her room or police flip her covers and shine torch at her, she won't wake up. what a pleasant memory. :)) and i wish i were as invincible as she (thinks she) is. 唯獨你是不可取替.