Today I am thankful for reading.
Not just the ability to read, a miracle in and of itself, but the blessing of enjoying reading. While it may not seem so miraculous that among the educated masses in developed countries I can read, when one considers there are over 780 million illiterate people in the world, and the majority of those are women, it puts one’s own reading ability in perspective. Additionally, only about half of American adults who can read actually read a book for pleasure in 2012, so that I can read and do it for pure enjoyment is even more extraordinary.
There are untold numbers of fancy quotes about the value and pleasures of reading, and you can find many of them on my Pinterest Board, Books and Reading. Nothing I can say is going to change anyone’s opinion about reading, but it does make me sad that so many cannot seem to find the same pleasure in it as I, especially when it is such a privilege.
There are places in the world where one is not allowed to read, or where their choices of what to read are severely limited. Remember Malala Yousafzai? She is the young Paskistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating educational rights for females. She urged action against illiteracy, said that terrorists were afraid of books and pens, and became the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at the age of 17. This girl nearly gave her life for the privilege of education, yet there are people who poo-poo the very idea of reading, for education or pleasure!
Thank God I had a family who encouraged me to read, beginning with Little Golden Books. At one point my Aunt Lucille worked in a drugstore and would bring home a Little Golden Book for me every day. Whether they were bought or just brought I don’t know, but I had a stack about two feet high of those books. I firmly believe that’s where my love of reading began. Remember The Pokey Little Puppy and those beautiful Eloise Wilkins illustrations?
Thank God that I live in a country where the opportunity to read is abundant. Thank God that I have the time to enjoy reading. Thank God that I have the means to purchase books and reading materials, and even if I didn’t thank God there are public libraries, used book stores, and thrift shops that practically give away books for free.