Here is how we can promote a culture of reading #TurnThePage

One of the things many in the Western world take for granted is the ability to read. From infancy, many children are read to and are educated about literature as well as develop literacy skills. Despite this, there is still a staggering amount of people who can’t engage with what many of us deem a basic activity. In fact, 774 million people around the world remain illiterate, with two-thirds of them women.

South Africa is arguably one of the main countries which suffers from literacy with many children between nine and 10 with 60% of households not even owning a single book. In a country that is continuing to develop economically, this is a serious cause for concern in which will leave generations behind and the chance of life.

Children need to be taught that reading is enjoyable and learn about the many doors which can open if one reads. Not only will their vocabulary grow but so will their relationships with others, like their family. Reading for meaning helps children navigate life’s challenges and to go on to have a greater chance of achieving academically in and in their careers.

Much of the issues with reading both in South Africa and the rest of the world, is due to the parents having a poor education themselves and therefore do not know how or why they need to encourage their children to read. However, doing so will help put their children on the right foot at an early age which will help them grow in confidence and begin to become more independent and engaged with the society around them.

Reading is not just something we can do as a hobby or read on the commute to work. Literature is what connects us to the rest of the world and helps us learn and interact with other cultures, points of view and escape to places we never thought possible. They inspire us with our own ideas and provide us with an imagination that the likes of cinema or video games have never been able to do. Everybody should have the write to learn to read and own a book. This will have a positive impact on society and create more jobs and boost the economy.

Instead of throwing books away or leaving them to collect dust, owners should donate them to charities and organisations that will give them to people who need them the most. Reading is the most powerful tool any individual can have and denying someone that right should be considered discriminatory. Reading shapes societies and this could not be any truer today.

Do something right and #TurnThePage