Adventures in Books
V.C. Andrews. Dr. Wayne Bryer. Danielle Steele. J. K. Rowlings. Who are these people?
The First Wave. Harry Potter. Being in Balance. The Secret. The Kite Runner. Wings. What are these titles?
Authors and Books.
When was the last time you picked up a book and read it completely? I’m not talking about comics or magazines or even the back cover.
I know it is hard with our busy schedules and our lives. But, today I’m going to try to persuade you to read just one book a month. It could be 50 pages or 500 pages; that is your choice. I just want you to read one book (fiction or non-fiction) every month.
In order to persuade you, I am going to tell you some scary facts about literacy today. I will give handouts at the end of my speech that states these facts as well.
Some general facts:
Since we are in the Information Age, total information doubles every 9 months. We therefore have to process information faster just to maintain our existing knowledge level.
A person after post-secondary education reads only 5 books in his/her lifetime yet there are 360,000 new titles published each year in the English language alone.
There are currently 2 out of 5 children that are poor readers.
This is not all, in terms of adults, a survey was conducted in 2005 by Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) and they found that:
- 4 out of 10 Canadian adults between the ages of 16-65, representing 9 million Canadians struggle with basic literacy and
- Anywhere from 18-38% of youth do not attain minimum proficiency needed to cope with demands of everyday life and work.
Another basic fact is that when we read, we increase our vocabulary and that increases the ability to communicate more effectively with the speaking skills we attain from Toastmasters.
Did the facts scare you? Are you going to go home and pick up a book? Not yet! Reading fluently provides changes for a fulfilling life in terms of job skills, financial stability or academic achievement. Reading teaches you to deal with life issues when they come up. How?
When you read a sentence, you might not know the definition of all the words, but you can guess what it could mean by the context or by using analytic strategies. These skills improve when you read more. Hence, you are forcing your brain to start thinking in a certain manner. Now, if you have a problem in life, you can decipher to what extent it is serious, could you be able to resolve it yourself or get help from a group, and how emotional you should be about it
These are just some of the benefits.
Even though many know that being able to read proficiently has many benefits. Not everyone can or does. Why? There are many barriers to learning such as job or money problems, lack of childcare and transportation.
There would be a huge toll on our government financially to provide education program within companies to improve reading skills, provide childcare and elderly care and lower fares for transportation. There are also many programs out there that help adults learn to read better.
Since the government has not had the chance to put the financial ease on people and if making time available for a program is difficult; there are other ways to add reading in your life.
Some might argue that I do know how to read so why should I stress out more.
Well, let me ask you this –
- Why is the sky blue?
- How doe the earth revolve around the sun?
- What does e=mc2 mean?
- When was WWI?
- Why can’t a bird swim?
You might have mastered reading, but if you don’t read, how can you increase your knowledge?
We are in the Information Age rather than the Industrial Age. We need to keep up with our knowledge in order to stay ahead in the “rat race”.
Are you convinced yet? No…
- Your children or grand-children might ask you a question about latest technology or latest fashion trend
- To prevent from being vulnerable to fraudulent activities
- To be able to have a debate with your friends
- To be able to imagine a different life for a short period of time
- To learn about the world we live in
- To understand the world we live in
- To understand ourselves better
- To communicate
- To be able to stand up for our rights
As we should make time to exercise and eat right, we should make time to give our brain a workout as well. Reading a book might seem like a huge task, but even if you just read 5 pages a day, you will be that much closer to finishing a book. Who know, it might interest you so much that you won’t be able to put the book down. Today, I dare you to read a book this month. It could be a fiction or non-fiction, but something that interests you. I promise you one thing; you’ll be surprised at what you will have gained from this. After all, you are what you read!