Who didn’t love Reading Rainbow as a kid? The iconic 80s show used songs, celebrities and video to actually make literature fun. Well, times they do change. And the show’s onetime host, LeVar Burton, says that Reading Rainbow just wouldn’t work on TV today and, furthermore, the days of printed books are also numbered.
“I don’t know what the time frame is, but I do know that at some point, cutting down trees to make books is not sustainable. It’s just one of those things we’re gonna have to get over ourselves about, right? Like oil consumption, it’s just not sustainable,” he explained in our latest Media Beat interview. ”So, we’re looking at a future, whenever it comes, that we’re gonna consume most of the reading that we do on some kind of electronic device or another. We will still have printed books; they’ll never go away. I think our emotional attachment to them is too strong. What it will do, I believe, though is make the books that we own more valuable to us, more precious.”
(And watch the full interview for a freakin’ awesome homage to that beloved RR theme song.)
Part 2: Tuesday, Burton introduces us to the new Reading Rainbow app.
Part 3: Wednesday, we discuss Burton’s role in Roots and how he achieved longevity in Hollywood.