I can’t take credit for the title today. Mr. Mark Twain came up with it.
An old friend told me in the grocery store the other day she was enjoying this blog. But she wondered why I had chosen literacy as its theme. She went on to say that, while she certainly saw the importance of reading and writing, our nation has fallen dangerously behind others in math and science.
I was quick to tell her that we would be in even greater danger if I were to blog about math or science. And, since I know she enjoys reading for pleasure, I said I hoped she will benefit from responses about what folks are reading. Which I hope you all will start providing. (That’s a hint; more of a prod.)
When I’d had time to think about my friend’s question I formulated what I should have told her. That happens to me all the time; does it to you? In point of fact, the reason you’re about to read is one that I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for years. Metaphorically, of course, since I can no longer get up on rooftops.
It’s simple really. People who are good at reading and writing will likely end up being good at any number of things. Plus readers have access to countless more ideas and windows on the world than nonreaders.
Here’s perhaps the major reason. It’s a personal opinion, but I think I’ve lived long enough and taught enough kids to have seen it proven correct many, many times.
People who grow up in houses that contain books and adults that read them – and read them to their children – have a far greater chance of becoming lifelong readers. And those people begin with an enormous advantage on a growing segment of the population.
Let me know what you think about this – on the blog, not just on Facebook or in an email. And if you’re a mathematician or a scientist, watch your language please.