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it would not happen...

Monday, June 19, 2017
... if I did not have very strong feelings about reading and the value of literacy. There would be no blog for your amusement, no tales I tell on myself, no bringing trivial matters in my mundane life to your attention. No blathering on about things we cannot control, but tend to vent about in frustration.

I actually know people who can claim they have read an entire set of encyclopedias from A to Z: all the knowledge in the world at your fingertips. And people who will read the dictionary for amusement. Even more so, here in the age of google and wikipedia where every question you could dream of asking is at your fingertips. Not mine due to the fact that my phone is not 'smart', but so available there is no reason you cannot get information for anything you want to know.

I was reading the June 5 issue of Time magazine. Yes, I know, a little late for it to be considered a report on current events. Same thing happens with the daily newspaper. They will occasionally pile up for two or three days and I will finally sit down and plow through a lap full of old news. Eventually get caught up on whatever the publisher chooses as important enough to devote manpower and ink to sharing.

The Time magazine had an article penned by Bill Gates, who needs no introduction. He was writing about: not technology! Reading, and the things he likes, sharing some suggestions for literature he and his wife have been enjoying, offering ideas for material to take along on your vacation. Some fiction, some not, but all things I will put on my list to request from the library.

The one little paragraph that you need to read, if you don't see anything else:
Q:" Do you think reading has been essential to your success, and is it to others?"
A: "Absolutely. You don't really stop getting old until you stop learning. Every book teaches me something new or helps me to see things differently. I was lucky to have parents who encouraged me to read. Reading fuels a sense of curiosity a bout the world, which I think helped drive me forward in my career and in the work that I do not with my foundation."

If Gates is the definition of success, the model for making something of yourself in the world, it appears that literacy is a major factor in what he has been able to accomplish. I read something recently about young people and learning the basics. "By age ten, children should be reading to learn instead of learning to read."  Which brings us back to basic literacy skills: how important it is to expose kids to letters, words, printed matter. How absolutely necessary it is to instill a curiosity about the world around them, and help them develop the skills they need to find answers, to know how and where to look to get the information they need: by reading!

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