Did anyone else know that today has been International Literacy Day? Good. Me neither.. I woke up this morning to find it on my twitter feed, trending and wondered what all the fuss was about. I am probably the worst person in the world to be writing a blog about how important reading is, given that my whole childhood my poor mother constantly fought a never ending battle with me to try and get me to read, but I’ll do my best. She would read to me and give me stories to listen to before bed but I was just not interested in reading. At all. To be honest, this hasn’t changed a considerable amount the older I’ve grown, however I will say that as soon as I get a good book, that’s me! Currently, I am reading a book a bit like that which is great (Victoria and Abdul if anyone is interested), but it could be months before I read another book again and really really enjoy it.
Apparently, every year since 1965 the 8th of September has been International Literacy Day as declared by UNESCO to highlight how important literacy is to everybody. And it is important! According to Good Reading Magazine as of 2013, 774 million people people around the world couldn’t read. And even worse 66% of these people are all female, probably because in some countries it is not seen as important for women to have an education. That is a horrendous percentage to think about really when reading is so important to our day to day lives! Now I’m not talking about your Harry Potter novels important or your latest Hello! magazine important, but the things you need for day to day life like reading a sign, booking appointments, reading a cookbook and reading the instructions on how to take your medication properly. But, I think the worst statistic I may have ever read, is that 80% of US families did not buy a book last year. I’M SORRY, 80%..!
Reading these statistics makes me really glad that my mum made me read as a child. There are so many reasons out there for people to read to live their lives, so I just cannot understand why people don’t see it as something important! We are lucky really to have an education system in Scotland that makes reading and writing such a focus, even if you are thinking back to your school days grimacing about those dreaded English lessons. But even though millions of people in this country can read, they choose not to do it for pleasure. Out of 2,000 UK adults that The Reading Agency surveyed, 67% would like to read more, but nearly half (48%) admit they are too busy and more than 35% said, like me, they struggle to find book they really like. At least I’m not alone in this.
So to combat this, I have decided to share with you lucky people some of the top books that I have read so far this year, because I think if there are more people sharing the ones that are really nose in a book for a week good, then more people might read a bit more.
- Dan Brown – Inferno (Dan Brown wrote the Da Vinci Code books and is releasing a new book Origin, in October this year!)
- Giovanna Fletcher – Always With Love (This book is all about the girlfriend of a movie star, but it has left me watching all of Giovanna’s blogs on YouTube! Loved it)
- C. J. Daugherty – Night School (More of a young adult book, I re-read this series after someone recommended it to me, so now I am recommending it to all of you)
- J.K.Rowling – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The Original Screenplay (I actually really enjoyed reading a screen play more than I thought I would because the magic is still there, but then again J.K.Rowling is a queen..)
- Philippa Gregory – The Last Tudor (This book only came out in August but is set in the tudor era and has genuine people from our past involved in the storyline, the last of a great series!)
So whatever you are doing today, I hope I’ve encourage you to read something! Anything! A magazine, your favorite blog, a novel or even just the back of your pasta packet. Lets put our skills to good use on this International Literacy Day. Please comment with any books you’ve read recently that you have enjoyed and share the ones you’ve really liked with everyone.