Did you know that September is National Literacy Month? When I saw that latest stat for adult literacy in the US, I was floored. In 2022, 79% of US adults are literate. That means that a shocking 21% are not. Of those who can read, 54% are literate to only a sixth grade level. And sadly, children who cannot read well become adults who cannot read well.
Now I’m assuming that if you read my blog, this matters to you. You are a book lover. You simply cannot get enough of the written word. So how do you encourage others to read and share your love? Here are 5 suggestions.
Many of us give books to the children and adults in our lives, but what about kids who don’t have access to books. Even inexpensive paperbacks cost too much if you are having troubles feeding your family. Give $20 to your local school book fair. I hadn’t thought of this myself until a librarian friend posted that someone had donated $20 to her fair. It was enough to send books home with 5 or 6 kids who otherwise wouldn’t have gotten a book of their own. You should have seen the smiles on their faces!
One thing I disliked about reviewing was the demand that I pan books. Although I get that controversy sells, I’m not interested in telling people what books I dislike. I want to tell them which books I love. When you find a book that you can’t get out of your head, tell other readers about it. Incidentally, have you read High Conflict by Amanda Ripley? It is eye opening!
Promote Your Library
Libraries are about more than just books but literacy is still a huge part of what they do. If you are on social media, brag about your library. Post photos of art shows and book displays. Share an image of your weekly book haul and challenge people to guess what you are researching right now. Share posts from your library because this helps their metrics. Push them up so they can push reading!
I always see the recommendation that you read at home so that your children see you do it. What about public reading? Sit on your front porch and read. Pick something like a picture book with a big profile. Let the neighbor kids see you enjoying a book.
Lift Up All Reading
Many of us have a tendency to hold up how and what we read as THE way to read. “You don’t have a kindle? Your home is so cluttered.” “Comic books aren’t real books.” “That book isn’t challenging enough.” Don’t make reading a battle ground. If you don’t understand someone else’s choice, ask them about it. “Why do you love graphic novels? Tell me about it.” People love to feel heard.
What other things would you recommend?